Industry chamber FICCI has written to the central government to cancel Class 12 Board examinations, cautioning that the current situation due to COVID-19 is not conducive for conducting physical examination.
In a letter to HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, FICCI President Uday Shankar said an alternate solution should be devised to determine academic progression.
He said that a delayed examination schedule will not only affect those students seeking admission in Indian higher educational institutions, but also jeopardise the dreams of especially those aiming to pursue higher education overseas.
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"COVID cases in the country are still very high... 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 12 board examinations should be called off," he said.
More than 5 lakh Indian students go abroad every year and over 2 lakh have confirmed offers of admission this year.
The FICCI president said that foreign universities are unlikely to relax their timelines in order to accommodate a delayed examination schedule and due to this students who have secured admission in those universities will be left in the lurch if the process is drawn out.
"It is imperative, therefore, that the Class 12 evaluation process is completed by mid-July so that there is a smooth transition to higher education for all students," he said.
Shankar suggested that CBSE should allow schools to take into consideration marks scored in several tests/exams conducted during the academic year 2020-21 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.
He suggested 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.
"As such, a 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," he added.
The CBSE has already cancelled class 10 Board exams and announced an alternative marking policy.
There is a broad consensus among states about conducting class 12 Board exams and an "informed, collaborative" decision will be taken by June 1, the minister had said recently.Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.