A high-level meeting chaired by PM Modi ended the anxiety of millions of students and the education ministry’s long standing dilemma. But venturing into an unknown territory, here’s what lies ahead for CBSE class 12 students.
- This “Student-Friendly” decision as mentioned by PM Modi in tweet has given a sigh of relief to lakhs of students.
- The results will be now declared based on objective methodology in a specific timeframe.
- With most colleges depending on entrance exams for UG courses, board exam results had already been sidelined in the India’s higher education system as just an eligibility criterion.
- Now with the cancellation of Class 12 board exams, the students will completely depend upon entrance tests and merit-based admissions to enroll for UG courses.
The Class 12 CBSE students took a sigh of relief as the decision came in that the board exams are now being canceled for the academic year 2020-21. During a high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it was concluded that the decision is being made as the current pandemic situation has affected the whole country. Students, parents, and teachers were experiencing tremendous pressure and anxiety over the hanging decision. The decision has been welcomed by Chief Ministers from most states including Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and other education ministers.
PM stated that “The Covid-19 situation is a dynamic situation across the country. While the numbers are coming down in the country and some states are managing the situation through effective micro-containment, some states have still opted for a lockdown. Students, parents, and teachers are naturally worried about the health of the students in such a situation.”
The Youth Bar Association had already filed an intervention application PIL in the Supreme Court requesting the cancellation of the Class 12 CBSE board exams. The court had given time till Thursday to the Centre and board to give their final decision. An online poll was also conducted by the SC Advocate Mamta Sharma via Twitter to which 93 percent of the surveyed students voted to cancel the exams.
“…we have taken a decision that is student friendly, one that safeguards the health as well as future of our youth.”Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
But now that the exams are finally canceled, a new worry has started to emerge among students: what’s next?
Results with objective methodology
The results will be declared with an objective methodology in a time-bound manner. This means that the students will no longer have to wait till September for their results. Most likely the results will be based on the past three years’ performance of the students that would comprise of clarity of concept, application of knowledge, and practicability. The benefit that every student is going to get from this assessment process is clarity of what can be done next and a sense of confidence that the results are calculated reasonably just by assessing their overall performance. But apart from that, it is also decided that for those who desire to take Class 12 exams, the option for that is provided by the CBSE like last year. Those will be held when the situation becomes favorable.
IIT-JEE pushed to July-August
When the whole scenario regarding the cancellation of the Class 12 board exam was hovering around, the JEE Main 2021 exams that usually takes place in April and May already announced that the exams are postponed until further notice. However, there are certain reports that the delayed JEE Main 2021 is likely to be held in July-August and a decision will be given by NTA at least 15 days before they conduct the examination.
In India, engineering is the most opted for higher educational stream among Class 12 students. As per a survey across India, around 880,000 students enrolled in the computer science engineering discipline for the academic year 2019.
Dependence on entrance exams and merit list
Now with the cancellation of Class 12 board exams, the students will completely depend upon entrance tests and merit-based admissions to enroll for undergraduate courses. Many public and private universities hold entrance exams for UG and PG courses in engineering, medical, dental, law, and management. That is a beneficial option for the students as these universities have already streamlined their online process for the exams. Entrance exams such as IPU CET, NPAT, BHU UET, LPUNEST, JSAT, and many more have either extended their dates between June to September or have already taken the exams from February to May.
The bottom line here is that the students already know where they aim to get admission. Therefore, the reason to worry about what will happen next has taken a backseat with the Centre and Board’s decision to cancel the exam.
Class 12 exams are just eligibility criteria
While Covid-19 was the disruptor, this has been a hot topic for a long time now. As colleges started taking individual entrance exams for UG courses, the Class 12 exam results have been sidelined as just an eligibility criterion. Majority of Indian colleges assess students based on writing ability, group discussion, and personal interview.
This new approach, as per proponents, is the ideal and fair process to select the candidates. Even students aiming to pursue higher education abroad for UG courses have to give IELTS, TOFEL, PTE, SAT, or ACT exams. This is an extra burden for them. Students have to study doubly hard for college entrance as well as for class 12 board exams.
How the pandemic can change the education structure?
It has been over a year that the country is struggling with the pandemic and the second wave has entirely changed the way we live our lives. In 2020, the board had canceled Class 10 and 12 exams but was confident to conduct Class 12 exams this year. In this situation, the Board should now think about how they can change the structure of exams in the coming future keeping in mind the health and safety of the students.
This is a chance that the education system can take to rethink the entire idea of class 12 board exams and what benefits they bring to the students.
The pandemic appears to be staying with us for a longer period. Ensuring how students, not just today but in near future too, can safely build their careers without falling into the stress and anxiety traps. Mental health of children and not just physical safety should be at the core of the board sees Class 12 exams in the coming decades.