Despite backlash from students, CBSE is keen on conducting the class 12 board exams by the end of June.
- CBSE has announced that it will be conducting Class 12 exams by the end of June. The final decision, however, will be made by June 1.
- CBSE has proposed two options: either hold exams physically at centers for few subjects or hold exams virtually at students’ homes for 1.5 hours with MCQ pattern.
- Students are opposing the decision of the board on Twitter by posting hashtags #cancelboardexams.
- Several states are in favor of conducting Class 12 exams as it acts as a base for higher education.
Amidst the second wave of COVID-19, a new tension has started to mount on lakhs of people in the country. The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) announced that it will conduct class 12 board exams in the last week of June, decided during a high-level meeting chaired by Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. Students and parents have started to voice their angst with this decision demanding the cancellation of the exams. On April 14, the CBSE announced its decision to cancel Class 10 exams and postpone Class 12 exams as the second wave had hit the country. That decision came in light after a high-level meeting that was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
While this decision came in, the national engineering colleges admission exam JEE-Mains were also delayed for the April and May editions. Usually, the CBSE conducts its board exams in February and March. That was rescheduled to start from May 4. But now as the decision has been made, the CBSE is interested in conducting the Class 12 exams by the end of June or after. The final decision is set to be taken by June 1.
Options proposed by the CBSE
Now the CBSE has offered two options as there is no possibility to hold the exams through regular protocols. Therefore, ‘Option A’ given is to hold the exams only for a few subjects, and Option B says to hold the exams for 1.5 hours, to be conducted in students’ home school. The exam pattern will be turned to multiple-choice questions and short answers.
- If Option A is considered, then the pre-exam is expected to be held from July 1 to July 31 and the main exam will be from August 1 to August 20. The results are expected by September 20.
- If Option B gets the nod, then the pre-exams will be taken between July 10 to July 15. After that, the first phase of the exam will be held from July 15 and August 1, and the second phase from August 5 and August 26. The results will be expected by September 5.
Most states are inclining towards Option B as it can be convenient for schools to arrange examinations at their venues. Though there is a lot of confusion regarding the process in which the exams should be conducted, states are determined the exam must be conducted for Class 12 as it acts as a base for entry into higher education institutes in India as well as abroad.
Fear and trauma among students
Since the pandemic has already created a ruckus in everyone’s life, the situation in which students are having to prepare for these career-defining exams in extremely stressful. Having to choose between well-being and career is not a pleasant dilemma. Under pressure, many students now appear to be opposing the options proposed by CBSE for conducting the board examinations. Hashtags like #cancelboardexams and #CancelExamsSaveStudents are now trending on Twitter as many students and parents have appealed to the board to reconsider holding exams in the near future.
Fear of third-wave hovering over children
The third wave is predicted to be targeting those below the age of 18 years. Parents are now living in fear and taking every precaution to safeguard their children. In this situation, these students have suffered the most with the economic gap in education, dependency on technology, phones, leading to addiction, stress, anxiety, mental issues, and disrupted learning process.
The board is determined to hold the examinations in some or the other way with either Option A or B. But the point that students and their parents are making is that no matter what, the children will go out to appear for the exams. That does not fall under the safety bracket for children. Stepping out of the house is dangerous in this situation with Covid-19 spread heightened. It appears parents need far greater assurance that their children will not catch COVID while writing the board exams.
What can be done?
There are two options for CBSE to consider. The first one is to cancel the exams and find an alternate solution where Class 12 students do not have to appear physically and can be promoted by implementing a similar formula to that being used for Class 10 students. The second option can be to float a circular to vaccinate all Class 12 students immediately so that they can safely appear for the board exams. Around 14,30,247 students are about to give their CBSE Class 12 exams. There is tremendous pressure on the Board.
It is advised to Class 12 students that they should keep on revising their syllabus till any decision regarding the CBSE board exams is made. Though the board is considering conducting exams only for 20 subjects, there is tremendous pressure mounted on the board to ensure that the students’ future is protected.