93 percent of the surveyed students voted in favor of cancelling the Class 12 CBSE exams, in an online poll conducted by Supreme Court Advocate Mamta Sharma.
- A PIL was filed in SC appealing the cancellation of the Class 12 CBSE board exams by the Youth Bar Association.
- The plea has opposed the decision to conduct physical exams during the “medical catastrophe” as a violation of Right to Life.
- The students are demanding an “objective methodology” for assessment and declaration of the result in a specific timeframe.
The fate of class 12 CBSE students still hangs in the balance as they wait for clarity on their board exams, a decision that has been pushed to Thursday now. The Youth Bar Association on behalf of 521 students had filed an intervention application in a PIL in the Supreme Court. It appealed the cancellation of the Class 12 exams amid the devastating second wave. The court today adjourned the hearing till June 3. CBSE had earlier given two options during a high-level meeting chaired by Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. The options were: 1) either conducting exams for few subjects at the designated centers, or 2) conducting multiple choice exams at students’ home schools.
Why can’t exams be cancelled this year too?: Asks Supreme Court
However, both the options received criticism from parents as well as the students. Twitter was flooded with hashtags #cancelboardexams and #CancelExamsSaveStudents. The plea made to the SC has strongly countered the decision of a physical exam during a “medical catastrophe” and claimed it as an unfair and unjust move. The plea also stated that the decision is against the Right to Life and Personal Liberty as given under Article 21 of the Constitution. Thus, amid this crisis and mounting pressure on the students, here are the 10 reasons as to why CBSE should consider canceling Class 12 board exams.
No vaccination provision for board exam students yet
This is one of the biggest reasons why CBSE should consider canceling the exams straight away. The vaccination drives are only for people above 18 years of age and right now the country is preparing to face the third wave that can happen anytime soon. And it is predicted that the wave will be hitting children below 18 years. Therefore, is it worth putting so many lives in danger by conducting physical exams?
Students fear catching the virus
During an online poll conducted by the SC Advocate Mamta Sharma, who is representing the students in the court, it was seen that 48.5% of the students have voted that they are fearful of getting Covid-19 infection if the board decides to conduct physical exams. The chances are surely high as the new Covid-19 variant with increased susceptibility and rising cases among the younger population.
Courses weren’t fully covered due to the disruption
The students have also complained that due to online classes that happened right from the beginning of the academic year, the whole curriculum was not taught well and was not covered fully. Around 12.7% of students have voted for this reason so far. And if this is the case, then it is challenging for students to give physical exams.
48.5% of the students have voted that they are fearful of getting Covid-19 infection if the board decides to conduct physical exams.
Family affected by COVID-19
The third wave which captured every other household in the country and the disturbing scenarios on open display during the peak of the cases, has taught us not to step out of the house unless it is an emergency. And with that, many twelfth standard students have expressed angst. Either they have caught COVID-19 infection or their family is suffering from it. In both scenarios, it is terrible for a student to step out of the house and write the exams, along with risking the lives of thousands of other students.
Poor internet access
Internet is still a problem even in many cities and many students who appear for the board exams come from small towns where a good internet connection is a luxury unavailable. Therefore, many students have missed their classes. They haven’t had the privilege of exposure and resources for education that one deserves when appearing for vital exams like Class 12 boards.
Grappling with anxiety and stress
It is quite natural that the pressure of board exams is always hovering over students. Since it is the foundation of their career ahead, every student aims to score as many marks as they can. But with this situation, along with the pressure of the studies, students are also suffering from stress and anxiety issues. This tremendous uncertainty created by the CBSE adds to this. There have been rising number of suicide cases of class 12 students reported in 2021.
Objective methodology can be deployed
The plea requested the Centre, CBSE, and the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) to cancel the exams for Class 12 for both CBSE and ICSE and give out the results through an “objective methodology” in a specific period. Since the decision is going to affect the careers of over 12 lakh students, the plan of conducting exams on an unspecified date should be off the table.
Addressing students’ concern
It is the vital priority of the nation to safeguard students and their future by addressing all their concerns. Along with that, it is equally important to outline a transparent strategy to assess them so that they can get admissions in higher colleges to shape their careers. An online assessment strategy can be one of the solutions that can be given to students. Since they are facing excruciating pressure, addressing their every concern is the nation’s duty.
Assessment based on past 3 years
The Class 10 CBSE results will be declared in July and the results will be calculated based on the students’ past three year’s performance. The CBSE may apply the same strategy here along with an alternative assessment option. Nevertheless, Class 12 exams carry much more worth and hence, a similar process would be way more complicated.
Nothing beyond life
Life is the most precious thing that cannot be put in jeopardy. Nothing can be smooth if you are not healthy. The same logic goes for the Class 12 students. Even if they go out to give the exams and then, later on, catch the infection, who is going to take that responsibility?
The future of these Class 12 students is now standing on a two-way road where life and career both hold equal importance.
It is also understood that the board will not take any such decisions that would challenge the safety of the students. Now the clock is ticking as the Centre will be giving its decision on Thursday and the students will be waiting for a verdict that safeguards their future.