The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on Friday ended months of uncertainty for the students of classes 10 and 12 after announcing the alternative assessment pattern necessitated by the cancellation of their pending exams due to Covid-19 pandemic. The exam results of classes 10 and 12, which were announced in May last year, will be delayed by two months this year and are likely to be out by July 15.
While the exam results of students who appeared for all their board examinations will be based on their performance in these exams, the marks for the pending exams of those who appeared in more than three examinations will be calculated based on the average of their top three scores. For those who have appeared for only three exams, the average of the best two will be calculated to score their pending papers. While Class 12 students can appear for improvement exams at a later stage if the situation is “conducive”, the exam results of Class 10 students based on this revised scheme will be final.
While the CBSE notification on Friday eased the minds of students worried about being marked on the basis of school assessments, they raised questions on the disadvantages of receiving moderated marks.
“There is no clear consensus about how students feel about the CBSE notification since some students want to appear for their exams. To them, it seems unfair that they are graded in one paper as per the performance in others. This isn’t helpful for students who focus on some subjects more while preparing for board exams,” said Class 12 student Hazel Bali, who plans to study Communication Management and Design in the US, and has one exam pending.
“Besides, some students who might do well in Sociology, for instance, might not be that good in other subjects. Getting graded based on that would seem like a disadvantage,” she added.
Not all students are, however, opposed to the move. Rahul Gupta, a Class 12 student in Vikaspuri, said, “Keeping the Covid-19 crisis in mind, this looks like the most feasible solution. While it may not work out for some students who need top scores in their principal subjects, it seems like an ideal solution for me since I want to study hotel management and just need a decent average to get through.”
Students of classes 10 and 12 who could not appear for their exams due to the pandemic and the Delhi riots were to appear for the 29 pending papers scheduled to take place between July 1 and 15. However, the spike in Covid-19 cases and concerns of parents who moved to the Supreme Court prompted the board to cancel the papers and announce a revised assessment scheme.
Divya Bhatia, the principal of Amity International School in Saket, said the school is trying to help students navigate the situation and counselling them. “The students are confused about how this decision will pan out and affect their higher education prospects. This is because students often take up papers like Home Science and Information Practices to improve their aggregate as they tend to score more in these papers. But now these exams are cancelled. This is sad for them as they spent two years studying the subjects and there will be no exams as of now,” she said.
Srijani Datta, a Class 12 student from Bloom Public School in Vasant Kunj, said, “My Sociology exam is pending and I want to pursue my undergraduate degree in that subject. This is a genuine concern since I risk losing 2.5% while applying to DU if I don’t include the subject in my ‘best of four’ subjects. The past week has been extremely stressful because of lack of clarity.”
Her mother Upali Roychowdhury added, “The revised assessment plan comes as a relief because, seeing the Covid-19 spike in Delhi, I didn’t want her to appear for her exams. This is the best-case scenario and we are hoping she gets a decent score.”