The Supreme Court on Thursday prima facie approved of the objective scheme submitted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and Council for Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) for awarding marks to class 12 exams after the same stood cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The bench of justices AM Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari said, “After perusing the scheme, we have no reservation to accept the same and permit the Boards to proceed on that basis.”
However, the scheme was found lacking of dispute resolution mechanism for students aggrieved by the assessment under the scheme and timeline for result announcement and holding of optional exam. The two Boards agreed to incorporate it in the scheme. A final order in this regard will be passed on Monday.
The scheme submitted by CBSE will assess students based on their performance not just in class 12 but also in class 10 and class 11.
Appearing for the Centre, Attorney General (AG) KK Venugopal said that 30% weightage will be given to the best three subjects in Class 10, 30% weightage to Class 11 performance and 40% to Class 12 performance. The assessment for Class 12 will be based on unit tests, mid-term exam and pre-boards results.
Based on the assessment scheme, a results committee will be formed headed by principal of that school and two senior PGT teachers of that school along with two PGT teachers of a neighbouring school. To ensure there is rationalisation of marks awarded by schools, the AG submitted that the past three years’ performance will be taken into account.
This scheme was devised by a 13-member expert panel constituted by CBSE on June 4, a day after the Supreme Court fixed a two-week deadline for the Centre to come up with a “well defined objective assessment” scheme.
The CISCE also submitted its assessment scheme for Class 12 to the court. Senior advocate JK Das, appearing for CISCE, said they would also assess students based on performance in class 10, 11 and 12 by taking the best marks awarded in these years. For rationalisation of marks awarded by individual schools, the historical performance of past six years will be taken.
While CISCE scheme specified about announcing results by July 31, AG Venugopal said that CBSE will also announce by that date. The same will be incorporated in the scheme, he added. On specifying the timeline for optional physical exam, AG said that is not possible till “Covid vanishes completely”. The bench insisted on putting an outer limit subject to situation prevailing at that time.
On April 14, CBSE cancelled Class 10 exams and postponed examinations for Class 12. Similar orders were passed by CISCE too that were challenged before the top court.
Nearly 1.45 million students of Class 12 registered with CBSE keenly awaited the scheme based on which they would be awarded marks.
The decision to cancel the examinations this year was informed to the court on June 3 in a PIL proceeding filed by advocate Mamta Sharma. The PIL sought cancellation of the Class 12 CBSE and CISCE exams and demanded a well defined objective assessment criteria to be put in place to enable declaration of results next month.
Sharma expressed her satisfaction with the scheme of CBSE and ICSE. The court also heard an application by UP Parents Association demanding physical examination. The bench allowed the association to respond to the two schemes but maintained, “We have accepted the in-principle decision taken by the Boards to cancel the exams. There is no rolling back from that decision.” For those students who want to take the exam, optional exam is provided under the scheme, the bench added.
The court also took up another petition filed by a group of parents led by Anubha Shrivastava Sahai demanding cancellation of state board class 12 exams in the wake of the pandemic. The petition said that out of 28 states, only four had not cancelled exams. They are: Assam, Punjab, Tripura and Andhra Pradesh. The court allowed the petitioner to serve the petition on the counsels for these four states.
These petitions will also be considered on Monday. Along with this petition, an application moved against the Kerala government will also be heard. The application challenges the decision of Kerala government to hold physical examination for Class 11.