Central Board of Secondary Education, CBSE is expected to review the new dates for Class 12 Board Examinations 2021 in the first week of June. With rising number of cases, many students and parents have reached out to the board, asking for CBSE 12th Board Exams 2021 to be cancelled. While academicians and experts have pointed out the grim possibility of that happening, the recently released Class 10 evaluation policy has given rise to some debate.

On Saturday, CBSE released the detailed policy document for CBSE Class 10 Result 2021 calculation. The internal assessment document lists out the various parameters for calculating marks for students of Class X which includes a weighted average of periodic, half yearly and pre-board exams in the country.

Not just that, the board has also directed schools to moderate the scores on the basis of historical data to ensure minimal bias. Experts and academicians have welcomed the policy, calling it balanced and need of the hour. But can the board consider cancelling Class 12 exams and use the same parameter to declare the results instead?

CBSE 12th Board Exams 2021: Cancelling offline exams

Speaking for the movement of the students, many health professionals and educational experts have pointed out that given the situation, the board cannot simply dismiss the idea of cancelling 12th board exams.

“There has never been a situation like this for most of the people of the world. This is a worldwide pandemic and the situation India is in, cannot be ignored. We can hope for things to improve but by when? No one can truly tell. Given the circumstances, how far into the year do we continue to postpone the exams? Would July be ok or are we willing to defer till September?” questions Mr. Mohanty, a senior retired teacher.

Concurring with the point, Ms. Gupta, a counsellor with a leading school in Delhi points out the psychological impact of delaying the exam and the uncertainty surround the same. “Students in Class 12 this year have been online for most of the year. Today, they wait again, with no certainty. While we cannot discount the importance of conducting the exams, we have to remember the psychological impact of the pandemic on these kids.”

“Many students have lost a family member to the pandemic – they are young 17 or 18 year olds and already worried about life, tackling grief and uncertainty. With all that is happening, the government must consider cancelling the exams and finding an alternative assessment plan like they have done for Class 10,” she adds.

Also Read | CBSE Board lays out important points for Class 11 admissions for academic year 2021-22 in assessment policy

CBSE 12th Board Exams 2021 – Alternative Assessment

As the clamour increases for alternate assessment, we reached out to academicians to discuss the possibility of using the policy for Class 10 for Class 12. While the same is doable, experts express concerns over the same.

On using a similar formula as Class 10 policy for Class 12, Ms. Rai, Principal AIS points out that there may be bigger challenges. “The biggest challenge is comparative scoring in regards other board examinations. A few states like Bihar and Kerala, for example, have already conducted their Class 12 board exams. These students would all apply for same seats – this places the university in a moral dilemma – who deserves it more?”

As for the technical challenges of using that assessment model she adds the lack of historical data for many schools as well as internal changes in subjects. “There is a normal practice of many students changing their stream in Class 12, many drop a subject as well. This may lead to a larger variation in the student’s score in a subject,” she points out.

On whether to cancel the exams or not she keeps a cautious stand. “Examinations are important. The diversity of circumstances of students make offline exams one of the only possibilities. But yes, we cannot ignore the situation nor in full faith recommend conducting exams. What we need now is a comprehensive task force that can minimize the risk while maintaining the sanctity of the examinations. Shift based exams like NTA conducts, home centres or a reduced number of exams is something the board must consider now,” shared Ms. Rai.

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