The CBSE board exams for Class 10 have been cancelled and postponed for Class 12, amid a surge in COVID-19 cases across the nation. The government made the announcement today after a high-level meeting of the education ministry officials with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The move has been welcomed by the parents and the opposition leaders, who have been asking for clarity on the status of the board exams.

Educationists too have welcomed the decision, calling it “sensible”.

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“In light of the burgeoning threat of the pandemic, I welcome the government’s decision to cancel the class X exams. While ideally, Board Exams provide a fairly accurate assessment of a student’s intellect and learning, these are unprecedented times and the health safety of students cannot be compromised with,” said Shishir Jaipuria, Chairman of the Seth Anandram Jaipuria Group Of Educational Institutions in Ghaziabad.

“It is observed that the infection is spreading even in young children,  hence it was not advisable to conduct offline exams. It is a tough decision on the part of the government and I’m sure much thought has gone into it.”

“The postponement of class XII Board Exams was also inevitable in light of the rising cases of the coronavirus pandemic in many states of India. I hope that the situation improves in the near future with the vaccination of more and more people so that the uncertainty over class XII exams can end and education can return to relative normalcy.”

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Vishnu Karthik, CEO Heritage Xperiential Learning School, said “No decision is worse than a bad decision. Thus it is good that some clarity on the status of the board exams was provided as it reduces the stress and uncertainty, albeit temporarily. CBSE had done the right thing by cancelling the grade 10 board exams. Grade 10 is not a high stake examination and thus the opportunity cost of cancelling the exams is not high.”

He, however, said that the “CBSE will find it hard to come up with a fair assessment alternative and in such situations, even a perfect alternative will adversely impact some sections of the students. On Grade 12 exams, the decision to postpone the decision on board exams to June is a prudent one. Cancelling grade 12 exams is not an alternative as it would be unfair to thousands of students and it would impact their university admissions.”

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Principal of Nirmal Bhartia School in Dwarka, Charu Wahi called it a “sensible decision”, given the rise in cases across the country.

“Thoughtful of the Board to be flexible and extend an opportunity to the Class X students to reappear at a later stage if they wish to. It’s also a decision in the best interest of Class XII, but they should now just decide and fix a date to avoid any further uncertainty, and hence, anxiety in the children.”

“They should also plan to hold the Class XII Boards in the children’s respective schools with external examiners in order to ensure maximum safety. Further, having fixed a date, they should not lose any time and plan and prepare for an alternative mode of assessment in the event the rise in cases continues. No further postponement should be made,” she said.

Dr. Dishan Kamdar, Vice Chancellor of FLAME University said that “The CBSE Board’s decision to postpone the Class 12th examination is a welcome step as it offers relief for students in this second wave of the pandemic. However, this may cause a delay in the admission cycles of colleges and universities in India. Along with all other colleges and universities in India, we would also have to assess the admission cycles for the 2021-2022 batch.”

For Padma Srinivasan, the principal of Delhi Public School, R.K Puram, “This last one year of the pandemic has been extremely challenging for both the teaching fraternity and the students” and “in these unprecedented times, the government has found the most viable option.”

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Prajodh Rajan, Co-founder and Group CEO, EuroKids International said that “as the current examination cycle is upon us, and the second wave of COVID-19 is impacting more people and children across the country than before, the recent decision of the CBSE Board authorities to cancel Class 10th examinations and postpone Class 12th examinations is a welcome step.”

 However, Rajan added that “while today’s announcement offers much relief, the Class 12th students remain on tenderhooks as to when their year will close. This postponement of their examinations will impact college admissions for the coming year, as the exam, paper checking and results announcements remain open.”