CBSE to Decide on Pending Board Exams By June 23
CBSE will decide the fate of its pending Class 10 and 12 board examinations by June 23.
CBSE will decide the fate of its pending Class 10 and 12 board examinations by June 23. The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) has extended its deadline for students to decide whether to write examinations or not to June 24, and will specify its alternative assessment option by June 22.
At a Supreme Court hearing on a petition by parents to cancel the examination due to the COVID-19 pandemic on Wednesday, CBSE counsel Rupesh Kumar informed the court that the board is “in the process of taking appropriate decision with regard to the subject matter of this petition very shortly.” According to the court’s order, the CBSE counsel asked for a “short adjournment awaiting that decision and to apprise the court about the same on the next date.” June 23 has been set as the next date of hearing.
This comes a day after Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank met with the heads of the CBSE and the National Testing Agency to review the current education scenario. NTA is responsible for conducting major professional entrance examinations including JEE and NEET.
State governments also weighed in on the debate on Wednesday. Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia wrote to Mr. Nishank urging that the CBSE examinations be cancelled, while the Maharashtra government told the Bombay High Court that it had the power to completely prevent the ICSE examination from being held in the State in view of increasing infections.
CBSE, ICSE and ISC examinations are scheduled for the first two weeks of July, and will be attempted by almost 15 lakh students.
“When the examination was postponed in March, there were only a few hundred COVID cases. Now when there are expected to be five lakh cases by July, why does CBSE want to endanger students’ lives?” asked Rishi Malhotra, the Supreme Court advocate representing a group of parents in the petition against CBSE exams. He also noted that exams have already been cancelled for students in 250 CBSE schools outside India, and asked why the same process of transposing grades from internal assessments and practicals could not be followed for students within the country as well.
Objections by parents
The CISCE, which had announced on Monday that it would give students an option to write their pending examination or accept alternative assessment using pre-board examination results, internal assessment and performance in the papers already completed, faced a barrage of objections by parents in the Bombay High Court hearing on Wednesday.
“Parents told the court that pre-boards are often more difficult and graded more harshly than boards, vary from school to school, and are given a miss by some students. It is an unfair choice,” said advocate Arvind Tiwari, who filed the petition to cancel the exam. “The court has given the council time till June 22 to specify the methodology for alternative assessment so that parents can make an informed choice. We feel that exams should be cancelled for all students and internal assessments should be used for grading, not pre-boards.”
On Wednesday evening, CISCE CEO Gerry Arathoon issued a circular noting that such complaints had been received and warning that action would be taken against schools found coercing students. “This conduct by the schools is against the spirit and the intention of the CISCE decision,” he said. “Schools are requested not to impose and/or influence the choice of the candidates.”
The CISCE circular also extended the last date for students to choose whether to write the examination from June 22 to noon on June 24.
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