Bhopal: Hold CBSE Class 12 exams in pen-and-paper mode, say students, teachers and parents

BHOPAL: Students, teachers and parents in the city are in favour of holding the CBSE Class 12 examinations in pen-and-paper mode whenever the Covid situation normalises. They also want that the exams should be held in the regular pattern in terms of duration and subjects.

They say that, if the examinations are cancelled, it will damage the careers and the future prospects of the students. They are even willing to wait for two or three months for the situation to normalise.

At a high-level meeting on the issue in New Delhi on Sunday, various optionsóranging from cancellation of the exams and awarding of marks on the basis of internal assessment (as done in the case of Class 10) to holding examinations only in key subjects to reducing the duration of the papers from 180 minutes to 90 minutes were considered. The option of online examinations was also explored.

Union education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ëNishankí said that the safety and security of the children was the priority of the government and that a final decision would be announced on, or after, June 1.

Student Rajdeep Mridha has told Fress Press that he is firmly in favour of the examinations being held. ìThe examinations should be held even if we have to wait for two or three months,î he says. He adds that the Class 12 mark sheet is ìvery importantî for the students. ìIf the exams arenít held, how will we differentiate between the average, the good and the extraordinary students? Moreover, weíll have to carry the stigma of being from the 'Covid batchí all our lives,' say Mridha.

Similarly, student Akansha Kaithal says that the examinations should be held on the regular pattern and in all the subjects. ìThere are five subjects. I may be strong in three subjects and average in the remaining two. The low marks in the weak subjects will be balanced by the high marks in the strong subjects and Iíll secure a good percentage. But that wonít be possible if the exams are conducted only for three subjects,î Kaithal says.

Another student, Gautam Thakur, says he will feel 'bad' if a student who has been preparing seriously for the examinations for months gets 90% and another student who has not worked hard at all gets 85%. "It'll be unjust. We should be examined in all the subjects. The government should wait until the situation is brought under control," Thakur says.

Student Riya Jain says that the examinations should be held once the number of Covid cases reduces. She sees nothing wrong in halving the duration of the papers from the normal three hours. "It'll be very difficult to wear a mask for three hours," she reasons. "Only if the situation doesnít stabilise," Riya says, "should other options, such as online or open-book examinations, be considered or marks be awarded on the basis of internal assessment."

Digital divide in country

"I feel that cancellation will destroy the high credibility and value the CBSE Class 12 examinations enjoy. The students of this batch will be tagged for life. Theyíll be discriminated against in job interviews. And what will the colleges which grant admissions on the basis of Class 12 marks do? The examinations should be held. The examinations should be held offline because thereís a digital divide in our county. I think social distancing, sanitisation and vaccination can ensure safety of the examinees. Schools can be converted into vaccination centres to inoculate students."- Rajesh Kumar Sharma, master trainer, CBSE

Stepping stone to future

"Definitely, the examinations should be held because the children have put in a lot of hard work and theyíve attended online classes. Class 12 is considered a very crucial year for school-going students because theyíre the stepping stone to higher education. But, in the present scenario, the most important factor is the safety and the health of the children. So, whenever itís convenient or suitable exams should be conducted."- Vinita Malik, principal, DPS, Raibad

What criteria for colleges?

"My daughter is in Class 12. I feel that general promotion cannot be an option. What criteria would the colleges use to admit students? Examinations must be held. We can always wait for the situation to improve."- Smita Pagey, parent

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