Much to the relief of thousands of students and their parents, CBSE’s class 10 exams have been called off by the Ministry of Education amid the rapidly evolving Covid situation.
In fact, just a few days ago, more than a lakh students signed petitions urging the Centre to either cancel board exams or conduct them online. #cancelboardexams has also been trending on Twitter the last few days.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra were also among those who urged the government to call off the examinations and prevent millions of students from being exposed to the deadly virus.
The decision to cancel the CBSE class 10 exams whilst postponing the class 12 CBSE board exams was taken by Prime Minister Modi and top-level Education Ministry officials. The meeting decided that the Class 10 exams would be called off with students unhappy with their results permitted to retake the tests whenever they were held next.
Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank said that the students of class 10 will be promoted on basis of internal assessment. "If a student is not satisfied with the assessment, then he/she can appear for the examination once the situation (Covid-19) is normal," he said.
Several Class 10 students said they were relieved with the cancellation of exams. Meenakshi S, a Class 10 student at a private school in Thiruvananthapuram, said, “My parents were really worried about my safety amidst the rising Covid-19 cases in the State. Most of my friends and I do not have a problem getting evaluated on the basis of our internals.”
Her friend Akhil VS is disappointed with the announcement though. “All the hard work I have put in over the months… I spent months burning the midnight oil… all of it comes to naught,” says Akhil.
Mithun Kumar is upset that he had to lose out on all those months of football practice and "loss of screen time". “My parents terminated our cable box connection when I entered class 10 as they wanted me to concentrate on my studies. I love football and used to attend coaching sessions regularly until class 9. If there was an inkling that there were no board exams this year, I could have perhaps continued with my football lessons and caught up on the latest programmes on television. I am planning to binge watch on all those shows I missed.”
Arun G, a father of a class 10 student at a private school in Kochi said he is relieved at the government’s decision as he was worried about his daughter, Michelle’s safety. “Also my family and I are staying with my elderly parents. Her going to the examination centre would have compromised their safety as well.”
Meanwhile, a parent was caught confessing that she is relieved that the board exams are called off as she had dreaded the thought of sharing her daughter’s marks once the results were out to nosey relatives and friends.
According to a Thiruvananthapuram-based teacher who prefers to remain anonymous, even though the teachers managed to take their teaching online, “assessment is where we fell short as students found ways to circumvent different systems so we could not get an honest or fool proof assessment.”
Meanwhile, parents are expressing their concern over the delay in schedule for Class 12, stating that either the board exams be cancelled or a schedule announced soon to easy students’ anxiety. The government announced that fresh dates would be given after a review of the Covid-19 situation to be held on June 1 by the CBSE. A notice of at least 15 days will be given before the start of the examinations.
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday said CBSE board exams must be cancelled for Class 12 as has been done for Class 10 and asserted that keeping the students "under pressure" till June is "unfair".
Says Asha Nair, a techie in Thiruvananthapuram, “My daughter was upset on hearing that the Class 12 board exams will be postponed as she was mentally prepared to write the exams in May. She is also upset at the short notice period before the fresh dates are announced.”
Homemaker Aisha M, says the new dates will have an impact on her son’s preparation for the NEET. She also pointed out that a delay in conducting the Class 12 board exams would also lead to a delay in the start of the next academic session at colleges.
As per the previous schedule, CBSE board exams for both 10th and 12th were slated to be held from May 4 to June 7. Results were likely to be announced by mid-July.
In the meantime, there is a growing call for the ICSE to follow suit and cancel the exams this year.
Meanwhile, social media users have come up with hilarious memes over the government’s decision regarding the CBSE board exams.
One Twitter user wrote, "Only the Election campaign can't postpone other than everything can be postponed," while another wrote, "One by One Government is accepting all the demands made by RG. This time PM went a step ahead to oblige the opposition, they simply promoted class 10 students."