Following the Centre’s decision to cancel class 12 CBSE board exams in view of the Covid pandemic, several states including Haryana, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and Rajasthan have called off their board exams while few others said they will take a call soon.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday asserted that the decision to cancel the exams has been taken in the interest of students and the anxiety among students, parents and teachers must be put to an end.
The decision was welcomed by chief ministers of different states including Delhi’s Arvind Kejriwal, Maharashtra’s Uddhav Thackeray and Uttar Pradesh’s Yogi Adityanath. Leaders of the Congress and other parties too had been pressing the Centre to cancel Class 12 board exams.
Soon after the Centre’s decision on CBSE, CISCE and the Haryana government also announced cancellation of their respective board exams.
Maharashtra, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh are among the states which said they are soon going to announce a final decision in this regard.
Rajasthan School Education Minister Govind Singh Dotasra tweeted, “In view of the fear of third wave of corona, the Council of Ministers in the meeting decided to cancel the board examinations of class 10th and 12th of Rajasthan Board of Secondary Education today in the interest of students. A decision regarding marking will be taken soon.”
Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant tweeted, “After extensive consultations, it has been decided that the Class 12 Exams shall be cancelled as the health and safety of our students is of utmost priority,” adding, “This will also help put an end to the anxiety amongst the students, parents and teachers. The results will be declared as per a well-defined objective criteria.”
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said in a video statement posted on Twitter, “The class 12 board exams (organised by the MP Board of Secondary Education) for the year 2020-21 will not be held this year. The life of students is precious for us. We can take care of their career later.”
Uttarakhand intermediate board examinations were also cancelled on Wednesday in view of the prevailing Covid situation in the state. State Education Minister Arvind Pandey said the decision has been taken in the interest of students, teachers and guardians after consulting the chief minister.
Karnataka Education Minister, S. Suresh Kumar on Wednesday said that the government would soon take a suitable decision on whether to hold Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) (Class 10) and second-year Pre-University (Class 12) examinations. In a statement, the Minister said that discussions are underway with teachers, education experts and parents in this regard and an appropriate decision will be taken soon keeping in mind the health of the children and their future.
Maharashtra school education minister Varsha Gaikwad on Wednesday said a proposal has been sent to the disaster management authority regarding the state board exams for Class 12 students and a decision on the issue will be taken in a couple of days.
In Odisha, state Congress president Niranjan Patnaik on Wednesday demanded that the state government should cancel the Class 12 board examination due to the prevailing second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Uttar Pradesh, Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday demanded that state boards should also cancel examinations like those of the CBSE.
In West Bengal, the authorities cancelled a press conference to announce the schedule of class 10 and 12 board examinations in the state amid the Covid-19 pandemic. No reason was given for the cancellation. An official of the School Education Department said a committee of experts has been formed to check how to conduct the exams and evaluate papers during the present situation.
According to Tamil Nadu School Education Minister Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozh, the government will make known its decision on holding the plus two board exam in the state in two days’ time, after conferring with experts.
Meanwhile, education experts and stakeholders believe the bigger challenge before the CBSE now is coming up with a fair evaluation criteria for class 12 students whose exams have been cancelled and demanded that the policy is notified soon.
Punjab’s education minister Vijay Inder Singla said cancellation of exams was a step in the right direction but demanded that the Union government call a meeting of all the state education ministers for holding further discussion related to the future of students. Singla lamented that the Centre did not unveil modalities for the result declaration or any roadmap for these students for taking admission in higher classes.
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia Wednesday said it is time the government starts planning about how class 10 and 12 students will be assessed in March 2022 considering another academic session could be affected by the Covid pandemic.
Meanwhile, a PIL claimed in the Delhi High Court that the policy of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) for calculating marks of class 10 students based on the internal assessment by schools was unconstitutional and requires to be modified. The HC on Wednesday sought the Centre and Delhi government’s response to the plea.