Ficci recommends cancellation of CBSE Class 12th board exams

NEW DELHI: CBSE Class XII board exams should be canceled, and results should be announced in mid-July based on internal school inspections with the support of external experts, a sector of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) recommended by the union government.

Ficci president Uday Shankar has written a letter to Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal emphasizing the need to cancel board exams and that “one hundred percent epidemic needs a solution outside the box”. Shankar wrote that delays in the exam process would disrupt the higher education calendar and could damage the aspirations of foreign universities for at least 500,000 Indian students.

The move comes days before the Union education ministry and the CBSE is expected to take a final call on the Class XII board exams. The Supreme Court is also hearing a petition by parents on Monday that is requesting cancellation of the exams amid the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. Last Sunday, majority of the states had supported a truncated board exam option suggested by the CBSE but few states including Delhi and Maharashtra had opposed any physical exam in the current atmosphere.

“Covid cases in the country are still very high; in fact, double than the peak of last year, which led to the closure of schools and colleges. As such, the current situation is not conducive to conduct in-person examination and holding online examination is impractical given the lack of infrastructure; most importantly, any further delay will lead to distress among students. Against this backdrop, FICCI strongly recommends that Class XII board examinations should be called off and an alternate solution devised to determine academic progression,” the Ficci president has written. Mint has reviewed a copy of the letter.

“A delayed examination schedule, as is perhaps being contemplated, will not only affect those students seeking admission in Indian higher educational institutions, but also jeopardize the dreams of especially those aiming to pursue higher education overseas,” the letter underlines.

Ficci says once in a century pandemic calls for an out-of-the-box solution, which is in the best interests of students who have already been subjected to a lot of stress and uncertainty.

“More than 500,000 Indian students go abroad every year and over 200,000 have confirmed offer of admission this year. Foreign Universities are unlikely to relax their timelines in order to accommodate a delayed Class XII examination schedule; thus, students who have secured admission in foreign universities will be left in the lurch if the process is drawn out. It is imperative, therefore, that the Class XII evaluation process is completed by mid-July so that there is a smooth transition to higher education for all students,” Shankar said.

To be sure, a majority of India students go abroad to pursue post graduate education than undergraduate education. For example, in 2019-20 only 25,032 Indian students were pursuing UG education in the US, of the cumulative 193,124 Indian students’ enrolment in that year there.

Besides, UG admission, school board exam marks or marks are one of the things. However, many overseas universities monitor school grades even if board results are not available at the time of certification.

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Ficci said the CBSE should allow schools to look at the marks obtained in most of the tests conducted in the 2020-21 academic year and give the appropriate weight to achieve each student’s marks. “A review committee headed by the principal should be set up at the school level which will include two external education professionals without selecting teaching staff to prepare positive and non-discriminatory student results, which should be in line with the school’s historical performance,” said Ficci president.

However, we have advised that if “a large number of students are not satisfied with the internal marks, the government may consider giving them the opportunity to write exams to be held one day when the situation is more favorable”.

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