The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) announced their decision to cancel the Class 12 Board exams on 1st June 2021 due to the worsening Covid situation in the country. While the decision brought relief and a final end to uncertainty over the exams, it spurred huge apprehension about the kind of evaluation criteria to be followed for declaring the results.
Finally the evaluation criteria was announced.. it is to be a 30%, 30%, 40% formula, taking into account results of Class X, XI and XII respectively. CBSE Class 12 students will be evaluated by adding 30% marks of best 3 subjects of Class 10, 30% marks of Class 11 and 40% marks of unit test, midterm or Pre Board exams of Class 12.
The Board is expected to declare the CBSE Class 12 results on or by 31st July 2021.
The evaluation formula decided by CBSE has evoked mixed reactions from experts. According to Mrs Dhriti Malhotra, Director Principal at Manav Rachna International School (MRIS), Sector 46, Gurgaon, “The rationale (of the evaluation criteria) to protect the interests of all stakeholders amidst the present precarious and uncertain times is certainly innovative and well researched”. Many agree with Mrs Malhotra. “The formula is well thought of as it keeps in account the consistency in performance of the student over an extended period,” acknowledged Ms Babita Kapoor, who is closely involved in the process as HOD Maths at GD Goenka Public School (GDGPS) Sector 48, Gurgaon. Mrs Brinda Ghosh who is the Principal of Gyanshree School at Noida opined, “The formula is indeed good for certain batches” but also cautioned, “In schools where the reference year is only one year the good students stand at a disadvantage”.
So who stands to gain..
This year we didnt see the students rushing to exam centres and as Ms Kapoor of GDGPS Gurgaon puts it, ‘The Board’s decision to come up with the evaluation formula to declare the results has hugely helped in restricting the spread of the pandemic.’
The evaluation formula will benefit students who have been consistent performers right from Class 10 to Class 12. ‘Weaker students may also gain by getting grace marks,’ felt Mrs. Brinda Ghosh, Principal, Gyanshree School, Noida.
And who will be at a loss..
Students who may not be consistent good performers but have progressed over a period of time will be at a disadvantage.
“This formula would be disadvantageous to students who have gradually grown in effort and seriousness over last 3 years. Efforts by schools to scale up low performers from Class 11 in Class 12 would have a limited benefit in the new scheme of things. Also, there are schools who deliberately push students through strict marking in Class 11 with an intent to create an urgency to put-in higher level of effort’” added Ms Kapoor of GD Goenka Public School.
Many students unhappy with the evaluation system agree with Ms Kapoor. ‘My Class 10 results were not very good but I was determined to crack the Class 12 Boards and studied very hard. I was confident I would do well. With no exams and the new evaluation formula my Class 10 performance will hinder my results,’ said a rather disappointed Roshni from one of Gurgaon’s premier schools.
‘Honestly, I did well in my Class 10 Boards and was confident I will do even better in Class 12 and hence had taken Class 11 very lightly as it was an internal school exam. My results were just average. Now I am regretting it as it will impact my Class 12 results which are critical for College admissions!’ shares a very upset Priyanka from one of Delhi’s top schools.
Some also said that performance in Class 10 or 11 is not a reasonable prediction of Class 12 performance.
“It's not just the inconsistently performing students, some very bright students may also suffer because of moderation based on previous year’s performance” noted Ms. Brinda Ghosh of Gyanshree School. Purvik Khanna, a Class 12 student in Noida couldn;t agree more and lamented ‘We do not even choose our subjects in Class 10 so why consider those marks? I was weak in Maths and was glad to leave it behind and went on to choose Humanities in +2 and became a topper in class. But now my low Maths score of Class 10 will hamper my 12th results.. this is certainly not fair!’
Ironing out the creases
Mrs Malhotra of MRIS Sector 46, Gurgaon, feels there definitely should be a time bound dispute resolution mechanism in place for students who do not feel satisfied with their result. Speedy resolution must happen for timely admission to Colleges.
It is time to rethink reliance on board exams?
If students know that their academic performance over the past 3 years would be taken into account, they would take the onus of learning upon themselves and be more consistent and focussed. ‘We can initiate an innovative standardized test system that incorporates all 3 years as one thread. We can also improvise our assessments and develop an all year around evaluation system instead of relying on only a single board exam at the end of the year,’ shared Mrs Malhotra.
Ms Kapoor of GDGPS Sector 48 said, ‘Clearly this system, if standardised, will ensure that students bring higher mindshare and focus on internal assessment exams in school and also put in more consistent efforts throughout the three years instead of focussing only on the Board exams.’
She added that this formula can be institutionalized if some critical areas are looked into such as -
- Standardization of process/content for periodic test/assessment.
- Uniform guidelines on evaluation.
- Half yearly CBSE conducted common India online/Offline common assessment.
Only time will tell..
In the given Covid situation CBSE, after much thought and consideration has declared the evaluation formula keeping students’ best interest in mind. We will need to wait till end of the month to see reactions once the results are out. Till then we can only hope that Class 12 students across the country, who are anyway stressed about all the uncertainty around their College admissions and academic future, do not feel let down by the new evaluation criteria.
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