CBSE, ICSE board exams cancelled, students left with many questions
The CBSE’s decision to cancel pending board exams in view of the spike in COVID-19 cases has not ended the anxiety of students who say they don’t know what is next and how will this affect their next admission, further education and the career. Have the examinations been completely cancelled or made optional? What will be the criteria for internal assessment? How will undergraduate admissions be impacted with the move? What about students who were preparing for competitive exams, and hence did not treat internals with the required degree of importance? These are among some of the questions that are causing anxiety to students whose board exams were postponed in March due to COVID-19 pandemic, and later rescheduled for July.
However, these remaining CBSE and ICSE Board examinations for classes X and XII have now been cancelled, the Supreme Court was informed on Thursday.
Class XII students of CBSE Board will, however, have the option of either taking the exams later or to move ahead with the assessment based on their performance in the last three internal exams. The re-exam option will not be available to class X students.
The option of re-examination would not be available to the ICSE Board students -- neither class XII, nor class X.
The CBSE board has not issued any official notification yet as it has been directed by the apex court to submit an affidavit on Friday detailing its plan. When reached for a clarification, board officials refused to comment on the confusion saying the matter is subjudice. Said Romesh Jha, a class 12 student, “They just announced that the exams are cancelled but where is the clarity? Students get to choose whether they want to write exams or take results on the basis of assessment? At what stage the option is to be chosen? There is no clarity, the exams have been delayed for over three months and still there is uncertainty,” Shruti Das, another class 12 student said, “What will be the criteria for internal assessment? Which three last exams are they talking about? How are they going to calculate an average? Will that impact admissions to universities like DU where cutoffs are too high. Nobody is able to answer these questions”.
“Taking the internal marks into consideration for the final board result would not be fair to the students now as well as in future. Different schools might have had varying difficulty levels in internals,” said Shreeni Ghosh.
Students have also launched an online petition, saying that the decision to go by internal assessment has been taken keeping in mind the safety of the students but not their educational future. “Even though, we have been given a choice to appear for our remaining exams later, this decision has still not yet been finalized,” the petition said. “Also, taking the exams this late will not be feasible for all the students due to the large time gap as well as due to the upcoming college examinations. This would lead to a lot of inadequacies and unfairness in the final board results.” Pooja Singh, a student of Delhi Kannada Senior Secondary School in Lodhi Estate, said, “The decision to cancel exams is good considering the coronavirus threat. Students have the option of taking the exams at a later date but there has to be a clarity on the later date. “My Hindi exam was left and I have confidence about my score in the pre-boards. But many of my friends could not take the pre-Board exams due to some reason or the other. How will they be eligible for admission to Delhi University, which in all probability, will announce its cut-offs in August?” Rahul Gupta, a student of Mamta Modern School Vikaspuri, said, “I had fallen sick during my pre-board exams and missed some papers. I had two board papers left -- Business Studies and Informatics Practices. As a student, I have been left in the lurch about my future. How will the CBSE work out a formula for those students who missed their internal assessment or pre-Boards?” Astha Arora, a student of Delhi Public School, Rohini, said students do not take their internal assessments seriously and focus on preparing for Board exams since that is how they are conditioned.
“It has been very frustrating since March. We do not know what is happening. Today the CBSE told the Supreme Court that the Board exams are cancelled but students will have the option of choosing whether they want their internal assessment marks to be considered or they would like to take the exams at a later date. “There is so much confusion with no clarity when the exams will be held. The CBSE could have formulated a scheme where students could have taken the exams online.”