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Business News/ News / India/  Ficci for suspending CBSE board exams
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Ficci for suspending CBSE board exams

Ficci president Uday Shankar has proposed that results should be declared based on internal assessments.

Indian government postponed the CBSE Class XII board exams on 14 April and a final decision is likely to be taken by 1 June after a review of the situation. (HT)Premium
Indian government postponed the CBSE Class XII board exams on 14 April and a final decision is likely to be taken by 1 June after a review of the situation. (HT)

NEW DELHI : The CBSE Class XII board exams should be cancelled, and results must be declared by mid-July based on internal assessments of schools with support from external experts, industry body Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) has recommended to the union government.

Ficci president Uday Shankar has written a letter to education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal underlining the need to cancel the board exams and how a "once in a century pandemic calls for an out-of-the-box solution". Shankar has written that delayed exam schedule will derail the higher education calendar and may mar the foreign university aspirations of 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, for UG admissions, school board exam marks or grades is one of the factors. But several foreign universities do consider school grades even if the board results are not out during the time of offering admission confirmation.

Ficci said CBSE should allow schools to take into consideration marks scored in several exams conducted during 2020-21 academic year and assign appropriate weightage in order to arrive at the marks for each student. “A review committee headed by the Principal should be formed at the school level which shall also include two external education experts apart from select teaching staff to prepare fair and unbiased results of the students, which should be in sync with the historical performance of the school," the Ficci president said.

It, however, has advised that if a “significant number of students are not satisfied with the internal grades, the government may consider giving them an opportunity to sit for an exam to be held at a later date when the situation is more conducive".

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Published: 30 May 2021, 02:29 PM IST
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