National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) yesterday, June 04, 2021, cancelled the Class 12 board examination for the academic year 2020-21. The decision was taken in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertainty ensuing in the country. Mr Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, the Education Minister of India, took to Twitter yesterday to announce the cancellation of NIOS exams. According to him, the decision was taken keeping in mind the health and safety of students. Instead of full-fledged exams, students shall be evaluated based on certain objective-criteria to be disclosed in due course of time.
NIOS’s decision is in congruence with the one taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding the CBSE Class 12 board exams 2021. On June 01, 2021, PM Modi convened a review meeting with officials, important union ministers and stakeholders. After the review meeting, CBSE went onto announce the cancellation of Class 12 board exams.
The central education board shall also determine certain objective criteria to evaluate students within a specific time frame. The same was reiterated by Mr Pokhriyal while announcing the cancellation of NIOS board exams. However, it doesn’t come as a surprise because most central and state boards are following in the footsteps of CBSE. According to Mr Pokhriyal, approximately 1.75 lakh students shall be benefitted from this decision.
The notification issued by NIOS also stated that any students who are not satisfied with the assessment process shall be given the option of appearing for exams at a later stage. The notification termed these exams as On-Demand Examination (ODE) which shall be conducted if and when the situation is favourable enough. Under such cases, the student’s performance in the ODE shall be treated as final.
The well-defined objective criteria, as mentioned in the official notification, are a set of evaluation criteria to assess students. Instead of conducting full-fledged offline exams, students shall be directly assessed based on these criteria. As of now, students are awaiting more clarity on the same. However, referring to other education boards, one can make certain assumptions about what these criteria maybe.
NIOS may choose to evaluate Class 12 students based on their internal assessments and other exams conducted throughout the year. Alternately, they may choose to evaluate students based on their Class 11 marks. Equal weightage may be given to Class 11 marks and internal assessments and routine exams of Class 12. However, NIOS is yet to announce their objective criteria in due course of time. As per reports, they may choose to disclose their criteria after CBSE does so.
CBSE’s decision however, made the NIOS re-think its decision on conducting the Class 12 boards. The same is applicable to CISCE and various state boards who subsequently, cancelled their respective board exams. As per the Supreme Court’s order, CISCE and CBSE are likely to release the objective criteria for evaluation in the coming two weeks.