Among the options being weighed in case the Class 12 board exams are scrapped is a proposal to assess students on the results of Classes 9, 10 and 11.
Though most states have backed CBSE’s option for a truncated exam, a few states disagreed and some demanded vaccination of candidates and staff before holding the exams.
While students have also approached the judiciary and are active on Twitter demanding cancellation, a notification of CISCE (which conducts ICSE and ISC exams) — meant for schools — called for submission of candidate marks in previous classes and got posted on social media, only to be deleted in minutes.
The education ministry on May 21 had a meeting with senior officials of states and UTs, followed by a high-level meeting of chief ministers, education ministers and secretaries on May 23 with the Centre, which was chaired by defence minister Rajnath Singh.
CBSE shared two proposals in the form of Option A and B. “A” is to conduct regular exams for 19 “major subjects” at notified centres between August 1-20 in a single phase or “B” which proposes shorter duration objective-type exams for major subjects at respective schools where the students are enrolled between July 15 and August 26 in two phases. The states/ UTs were also asked to give their detailed suggestions by May 25. An announcement is expected possibly by Tuesday, as stated by education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal in his post on May 23.
Even as major parts of the country are still in lockdown or partial lockdown, hectic last-minute parleys are on regarding a final call to be taken on the fate of the Class 12 boards, especially those to be conducted by the CBSE.
“Although states/ UTs have made their suggestions, everyone would look at the CBSE way as the guiding principle. Therefore, whatever decision the Centre is likely to take by June 1 will be important not only for the forthcoming entrance tests, but also for states in conducting their own board exams,” said a senior official in the ministry of education.
Interestingly, a document, dated May 27, on the letterhead of the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations stated that the board has begun the data collection exercise by asking schools to collate data about average marks of subjects scored by students in Class 11 as well as in various examinations and internal tests conducted during the session in Class 12. While a CISCE official didn’t confirm or deny sending the “strictly confidential” letter, schools confirmed having received the same.
The board has instructed that the papers or subjects must be the same for which candidates have been registered and confirmed for Class 12 exams. This led to speculation that CISCE too is working towards cancelling the exams. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court will hear on May 31 a plea seeking directions to cancel the exams amid the surge in Covid-19 cases across the country.