The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is all set to begin the its Class 10, 12 board exams 2022 from Monday, April 26, 2022, onwards. Just one day prior, the Council of Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) will begin the ICSE, ISC board exams 2022. Several state boards including Kerala and Uttar Board are in the process of holding their annual exams for both classes. However, in the last few days, north India, particularly Delhi and Haryana have witnessed a sudden surge in COVID-19 cases, insinuating the possibility of a fourth wave.
With masks becoming mandatory in several parts of India and COVID-19 guidelines being issued, a pertinent question has become the topic of conversation – should CBSE, ICSE and state boards cancel their board exams 2022?
Here’s what students and parents have to say-
CBSE, ICSE Board Exams to Commence from April 26
As per the official schedule, the CBSE class 10 board exams 2022 are going to be conducted from April 26 to May 26. While the Class 12 board exams will begin on the same date, they will be ending on June 15, 2022.
A similar schedule is being followed by CISCE, whereby, the ICSE Class 10 board exams are scheduled from April 25 to May 23, 2022. The ISC or Class 12 board exams will be held from April 26 to June 13, 2022.
While most state boards are done with their board exams, some are yet to conduct their last paper for Class 10 and 12 students. So, in simple terms, this board exam season will come to an end in the month of June 2022.
Rising COVID-19 cases in the country
While students are preoccupied with preparing for the impending board exams 2022, the country is witnessing a surge in COVID-19 cases, particularly in Delhi and Haryana. Only yesterday, April 21, 2022, the national capital reported 1000+ cases. The local government was forced to make masks mandatory again, along with penalty charges. Experts predict that in the coming weeks, other states will witness this surge, resulting in the fourth wave.
One board exam enough to evaluate students
Against this background, students and parents have expressed the need to cancel the Class 10, 12 board exams 2022. Instead of full-fledged written exams, students must be evaluated based on alternate assessment criteria. This pattern was followed in 2020 and 2021, due to a surge in coronavirus cases.
Others feel that one board exam for Class 10, 12 students is enough to evaluate their performance. Hence, the term 2 exams must be entirely cancelled without there being a need to decide on alternate assessment criteria.
Interestingly, in February 2022, a PIL was filed in the Supreme Court, seeking to cancel the board exams for 2021-22. The reason, however, was different than it is today. Petitioners had argued that due to juggling between online and offline lectures, there has been a lapse in the quality of education imparted. Hence, it would not be fair to conduct offline exams based on lectures conducted online. The petition, however, was dismissed by the apex court.
Will CBSE booard exams be held in MCQ-format?
Amid calls for cancelling CBSE, CISCE board exams 2022, there is a silver lining for students. As per the guidelines issued by CBSE,
In case the situation is not conducive for normal descriptive examination, a 90-minute MCQ based exam will be conducted at the end of the Term II also.
This clause has been reiterated by several students online, particularly on Twitter. So, while the possibility of cancelling board exams 2022 is bleak, CBSE might just change the exam pattern. However, this is merely speculation that has neither been corroborated nor denied by the central boards. Only time will tell the course of direction that CBSE, ICSE and other boards choose to follow.