The schools affiliated with the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) in Lucknow and elsewhere are busy uploading the marks obtained by Indian School Certificate (ISC) class 12 students when they were in class 11 in the Council’s portal. Such a step was “desired” by council secretary Gerry Arathoon through a “confidential letter” dated May 27. HT has a copy of that letter.
“The CISCE is in the process of collating and collecting data from all our schools presenting candidates for class 12 examination. You are, therefore, requested to provide the requested information for class 12 candidates,” CISCE secretary Arathoon said in a letter to school principals.
A number of school principals were of the view that the council may not hold class 12 ISC exams or may go for truncated tests in July for a few major subjects and it may award marks for other subjects on the basis of the performance of the students when they were in class 11. All of this depends on the outcome of the June 1 meeting by the Union ministry of education.
The CISCE, CBSE and UP Board have all cancelled their class 10 exams due to the Covid-19 situation in the country. It now remains to be seen whether the class 12 board exams will be held.
The CISCE move of awarding average marks to class 12 students on basis of previous academic records are making students and principals circumspect about the possibility.
Anil Agarwal, managing director of St Joseph’s group of institutions, said, “The council must conduct the exams for class 12, be it online or offline, of less duration with one language paper and two mainstream papers (science, commerce or humanities). On that basis, marks can be awarded for the rest of the subjects.”
“In case of offline exam, 70% MCQ and 30% short-answer type with duration of 90 to 120 minutes (can) be held. In case of online examinations, 100% MCQ (can) be held with the same duration,” he proposed.
“Awarding marks randomly or on the basis of final exam of class 11, mid-term exam or pre-board of class 12 is not the solution. Feedback from students can be taken in case of online exams. Maybe, they can come up with better ideas as students are quite innovative nowadays,” said Agarwal, who is president of the Unaided Private Schools Association, UP.
City Montessori School founder manager Jagdish Gandhi said, “We are duty-bound to obey the council and shall submit the data required by them. It is in the interest of the children that the class 12 exams are held, even as late as August, as the students have worked hard to prepare for the boards, and it would not be fair to judge them on the basis of their previous performance.”
Gandhi also said, “Moreover, cases of corona have come down drastically in the last one month and it is expected that with the government’s able handling of the situation, things will improve further by July-August, paving the way for exams to be held.”
Mala Mehra, principal of Hoerner College, Lucknow, said, “The given conditions of the spread of pandemic warrant alternative planning in the face of possible cancellation of the ISC-12 examinations…The request put forth by the council is the only choice.”
La Martiniere Girls College principal Aashrita Dass says, “We have faith in the Council that they will do what is best for the students. It has always been a student friendly board.”
Some students are unhappy with the possibility of previous marks being awarded in the class 12 board exams.
For instance, Aleena Rizvi, a student of La Martiniere Girls College, said, “Marking the students on class 11 and 12 average marks would be unfair. There were some schools which couldn’t conduct more than one pre-board last year whereas others held more than two pre-boards. So, they have an array of scores upon which their students could be marked. Also, the difficulty of the examinations varied in all schools. Hence, it would be unjust to those students who had a relatively tough question paper.”
“At the same time, conducting offline exams is also not an option. Thus, the council could come up with some other online method based on which the students can be accurately adjudged,” Rizvi said.
Achint Marwa, a class 12 student of La Martiniere Girls College, said, “On the contrary there is a vast majority of students who engage actively in co-curricular activities and other social pursuits through the year, scoring average in the internal exams and give a huge push during the boards to achieve a much higher percentage, such students will be the disadvantaged lot in the system.”
The Supreme Court will on Monday hear a plea seeking cancellation of Class 12 board exams in view of Covid-19 in the country. The plea, filed by advocate Mamta Sharma, came up for hearing on Friday and was adjourned to Monday. The plea has sought directions to the Centre, Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) to cancel the CBSE and ICSE Class 12 examinations.