NEW DELHI: There is a likelihood of CBSE cancelling the pending board examinations, scheduled to be held from July 1, in view of the rising number of Covid-19 infections across India.
CBSE is deliberating on options, including granting of marks based on the average score of papers in which the candidate has already appeared; making it optional for students to appear in the exams and evaluating them on the basis of internal assessment; or rescheduling the papers for September-October.
It is likely to finalise the plan by Monday after consultations with the ministry of human resource development. There has been growing pressure from parents and state governments like Maharashtra and New Delhi on CBSE to cancel the exams. Hearing a petition from some parents, the SC had on Wednesday asked the board to consider the prevailing pandemic situation and decide by next week on whether the papers could be scrapped.
Ahead of the SC hearing, HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal had held a meeting with Anita Karwal, secretary, school education, Manoj Ahuja, chairperson, CBSE and Vineet Joshi, director general, National Testing Agency on Tuesday. However, the meeting remained inconclusive.
According to a senior HRD official, “No decisions have been reached so far. However, by June 23 CBSE will be ready with further instructions as asked by the SC. There are two things that have emerged – a few states are unwilling to conduct the exams due to the increasing cases of the viral infection and within the Board the general opinion is that it doesn’t make much of a sense of delaying the exams to September or October.”
“Therefore, in such a scenario CBSE is left with the option of either making the exams optional or cancel them. At present the Board is thinking of cancelling the exams and awarding an average marks scored in the papers a student appeared to the one that remained unfulfilled. In case of Class X, the Board may also look at the option of scoring on the basis of the internal assessment,” said the official.
Class X exams are pending only for North East district of Delhi, which were first suspended due to law and order situation, then followed by lockdown due to the spread of the Novel Corona Virus. Among the nine districts that conducted very low tests during June 9-15, the North East district stands out with high positive rate of 52.3%. Also in the list of 25 districts, Shahdara in Delhi leads with a positive rate of 60.7% — the highest so far in the country — as on June 15.
Earlier this month the Maharashtra government has asked the CBSE and the CISCE Boards to conduct the Class X, XII exams later or evaluate students on the basis of internal marks. Reiterating his earlier suggestion, Delhi’s deputy CM, Manish Sisodia on Wednesday wrote to Pokhriyal asking him to cancel the pending Board exams, explaining explained how it will be impossible for government schools to hold exams as they are being used for several purposes to battle Covid-19. This is for the second time that Sisodia has made the request.
According to a CBSE source, the Board is likely to finalize its plan by Saturday and get it approved by the ministry on Monday.