Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ held a key meeting with the Education Secretaries of all states. The three main agendas of the meeting held were as follows – discussion on whether it is feasible to conduct class 12th board exams in the current pandemic situation, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the education sector, and lastly, implementation of the national education policy (NEP) 2020.
Many were expecting that a final decision regarding the Class XII board exams 2021 shall be announced today, however, no announcement regarding the same has been made. The ministry has neither dismissed the speculation of cancelling the CBSE 12th Board Exams 2021 nor agreed for the same. Earlier, according to media reports, it was expected that the Education Minister shall share the announcement regarding the CBSE exams by May 24 or 25.
Central Board of Secondary Education, CBSE, has however answered the queries of the students and said that no decision has been taken as yet and once confirmed, the public will be notified about it
Most states have already cancelled class 10th exams and postponed the class 12th examinations. The decision for cancelling the class 10th exams has been well appreciated by students and parents. Therefore, the class XIIth students are also demanding the same. Many of them have shared their concern on social media as they fear for their well-being for appearing in the offline examinations and have urged the government to cancel the board exams using hashtags like #modiji_cancel12thboards, CancelExamsSaveStudents, and #CancelBoardExams2021.
With the second COVID-19 wave and now cyclone Taukte effects in states like Maharashtra Goa, Gujarat has made the situation even worse. The board announced that it will review the pandemic situation on June 1 and will take a decision accordingly. However, the circumstances which are right now the situation seems to have become worse for CBSE to go ahead with conducting the examinations.
While lakhs of students are waiting for CBSE to take a final decision, the chances of the examination to be scrapped are higher as the chorus for cancellation of examination is growing louder every passing day. India Wide Parents Association (IWPA) has also written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking cancellation of the board exams amid rising coronavirus cases in the country. The letter reads as follows, “Many students and parents from across India are worried about the upcoming 12th Board Exams 2021 in physical mode due to the alarming rate of growth of COVID 19 cases and deaths during the second wave. It is going to have an immense negative impact on the mental health of students.”
Earlier, a PIL was also filed in Supreme Court seeking the cancellation of the Class 12 board examination. As per the plea filed by advocate Mamta Sharma it reads as “Conducting Class 12 board examination is not possible because of surging COVID-19 cases. Even online or offline examination not feasible because of the pandemic. Delay in the declaration of Class 12 results will hamper students taking admission in foreign universities.” It further added that CBSE and CISCE must devise an objective methodology to declare the results within specified time otherwise it will affect around 12 lakh students.