Responding to the cancellation of the CBSE Class 12 board examination, students in the Capital said that they were relieved as the wait was finally over.
Several students in the city said that they could have gotten higher marks if they sat for the examination but felt that they were not in the frame of mind to sit for such an examination during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CBSE is yet to announce the formula for calculating the process they are going to use, but students feel that since they have an option to sit for the examination on a future date, this is the best possible way to not let them left hanging without a score to seek admission into programmes of study at the undergraduate level.
Ananya Sangwan who was scheduled to take the examination this year said, “Most of us are not even able to meet our family and friends at the moment, so the idea that we would have to sit in a room with other people and give exams was quite ludicrous. Our lives are worth more than any marks we could have secured.”
She added that she could have possibly scored better than her predicted grades given by the school but after spending one and a half years studying the same course and not being able to move past it, she and her friends were too mentally drained to take the examination.
Some of the students said that the past year has been anything but ordinary and the exam being conducted also needs to be a reflection of the way teaching took place. “Given the familial, social and financial hardships that children have gone through this year, including losing loved ones to the virus and caring for those infected by it, most children may not have performed to their full potential in offline exams,” said Aman Sharma.
He feels that the due to irregular classes in rural areas and a large digital divide between sections of society, the decision of cancelling offline boards was a fair and equitable socio-economic decision taken by the government to favour students and their health.
On the issue of admissions to universities, Mr. Sharma said that most universities aboard have already finished taking student admissions, and many colleges in India require entrance exams anyway, so the CBSE score will only be a qualifying examination. “For those who may still want to sit for an exam in case they are not happy with their internal marks, they can always do so once the situation is conducive as the CBSE has given them an option to choose this too,” he added.
For Ms. Sangwan who has already secured admission abroad, she said that she is happy that the CBSE has taken a decision as she was worried with her results getting delayed as many universities had sent out emails to their students saying that if the boards did take place, and the marksheets came post the due date to submit the final results, the offers would be rescinded and students would have to reapply next year, which would mean taking a gap year and competing with a larger pool of applicants as well.
“While my intended university hadn’t made a statement yet, I was quite worried as the semester there starts in mid-August, and it seemed as though I wouldn’t be able to go, or even get my final marksheet by then,” she said.
JNU Vice-Chancellor M. Jagadesh Kumar said that in most higher educational institutes, the admission into undergraduate programmes is through an entrance examination and where their isn’t one, the universities can devise appropriate procedures for admission which are fair and transparent.
“We will conduct the entrance examination whenever it is safe for the students to write. We need to find optimal solutions rather than feel anxious about the challenges faced by the pandemic. Our Indian educational system is capable of meeting these challenges,” Mr. Kumar said.
Some students however, felt that the cancellation of exams would have a devastating impact on their college admission chances where even a single mark could make the difference.
Sehaj Chaudhary said that students and their parents spent years and resources on education that ultimately is defined by Class 12 board marks.
“I wanted to secure admission into SRCC, Delhi University, and had worked hard for it. Now I am not sure what the admission criteria is going to be. For years, the criteria has been on the final examination and not on the internal assessments so I was aiming to do well in them,” Ms. Chaudhary said.
This article was originally published on The Hindu