With Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement to cancel the CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) exams, several state boards too decided to cancel their class 10 and 12 examinations owing to the pandemic. The CBSE exams were called off on June 1, after a high-profile meeting between Prime Minister and other dignitaries of the Education department.
The examinations are usually held during the months of February-March. The pandemic has left the students in a fix as they are unsure about their future. Unlike other years, the previous year had also been very difficult owing to online interactions. While some are disappointed as they were well prepared others are delighted. However, there are others who feel that health is of utmost concern and which should not be compromised.
EducationWorld spoke with students from across the country for their views on the same:
“The ISC exams were supposed to be held in March. The exams got delayed and we were not sure whether they would be conducted or not this year. So we were going through a lot of stress and anxiety. The exams are now cancelled and after the cancellation I am not as stressed as before. But the uncertainty over getting admission to a college I am planning to study still remains. We still don’t know the formula that is to be used for preparing our results. I have worked very hard for the internal examinations. I don’t know whether my efforts would be reflected or not in the final marks. My fear is that I may not manage a berth in a college of my choice if the board marks are less,” said Prapti Chakraborty, Class XII student of La Martiniere for Girls, Kolkata.
Aditya Banerjee, a Class XII student of Jadavpur Vidyapith, a school under state Higher Secondary board said, “There was confusion whether it would be possible to conduct the Class XII exam in the pandemic. That confusion is not there now. The cancellation of the XII board exam has brought some relief. But, at the same time there is still uncertainty regarding the evaluation process. There is no clue how we will be assessed. The pre-boards were not held this time. So I was aiming to score high marks in the board exams. I had been studying very hard for the boards and I was very confident that I would do well in the exams. Now that I don’t know the marking scheme I am not sure about my marks. I don’t know whether and how it will be possible for me to get a seat in a good college. If the assessment of students is done only on the basis of internal exams, then the competition is bound to be tough.”
“Considering the current situation and safety of the students, it is a right decision to cancel offline board exams. But now the education department should come up with a fair assessment criteria so that we get a fair result and students who have worked hard do not feel disappointed. Non-Professional degree colleges should come up with their own entrance exams so that admissions of students going for such courses don’t get affected,” said Saloni Kambli, 12th HSC board student, Khalsa college Mumbai.
“I am satisfied with the decision made by the board. I have always been consistent with my studies at school, hence any method of internal assessment does not cause too much anxiety. However, there needs to be a standardisation among different state boards with regards to college admissions so that we can have a fair competition,” said Navya Prakash from Lilavatibai Podar High School.
Avni Dogra, CBSE class 12 commerce student from Cambridge International School, Punjab said, “We understand that in the current pandemic situation, the government did not have much choice. I feel sad that the 14 months of hard work did not materialize. There should have been some clarity on how admissions will take place. I am an aspirant of the Delhi University. I have no clarity on how my admissions will take place. Whether we will have separate entrance exams is a question. I do not even know how I am being evaluated yet. I appeal to the government for some clarity, particularly for those seeking admissions into humanities and commerce courses.”
Anshul Rana, class 12 CBSE student Cambridge International school, Dasua, Punjab said, “I welcome the decision taken by the government. I was preparing for both NEET and Boards simultaneously. We have worked hard for the entire year and have a balanced approach. I am a medical aspirant. CBSE has taken a fair decision and there is still an option for students to take exams if they are unhappy with the evaluation. In this current situation, the lives of students are the most important aspect to be considered.”
Sharanya, a second year pre-university (PU) student said that her apprehensions are aplenty. “I did not even assume that our first PU marks will be the deciding factor for second PU results. I am worried about the parameters that would be taken into account for admission into professional colleges. I am hoping to get admission to an engineering college. If the PU scores (grades) are considered along with the entrance exam, how will so many students be given seats? Someone with an 85 % score gets the same treatment as someone who has a one with 95%.
Bhargavi D, a student from Bengaluru, CBSE class 12 said, “Although it is a relief that we do not have to go out and attend exams during the pandemic, we are worried about how the results will be derived. There is still no clarity on what parameters are being taken and how the calculation is done. Anyone seeking admission into engineering and medical college is under pressure because of this.”
Suriya Kumar, a class 12 CBSE student from Bengaluru said, “It was not the right to call off exams at the moment. I think it is unfair to consider class 11 and class 10 marks as parameters to give us scores. The government should have waited for some more time for the pandemic to subside and then take a call. If this score is considered in Common Entrance Exams, it would not be fair. There is no clarity on parameters for giving us scores.”