Tribune News Service
New Delhi, May 27
With the cancellation of Class XII examinations, not an apparent option, several student organisations have urged the Central government to “explore other modes of evaluation”, including online and offline methods like internal assessment, and home tests.
After ABVP and NSUI, the Students Islamic Organisation of India has also written to Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, saying that if exams are to be held, they can be in “open book mode and students allowed to appear from respective homes”.
Notably, many students’ and parent organisations have expressed reservations against holding physical exams for Class XII students and advocated online examination for their safety.
Earlier, the SIO had asked for board examinations to be cancelled and students promoted on basis of internal assessments and Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) by schools.
In a fresh letter submitted to the Education Minister, SIO reiterated the demand.
However, “considering that complete cancellation of the board exams is not acceptable to most state governments, as was apparent in the recent inconclusive meeting of state government representatives”, SIO president Mohammad Salman Ahmad said, “question papers and answer sheet can be made available to students at their homes, along with sufficient time to complete the exam and submit the answers back to the examination centre”.
“We believe it is crucial that in no circumstance should physical examinations at examination centres be allowed to happen. Regardless of the safety precautions proposed to be taken, such a large gathering of students, teachers and associated staff poses too many risks for the collective health and safety of not only every person involved in the process but also for the public at large,” he said.
Earlier, Congress student wing National Students' Union of India (NSUI) said that physical exams will only put the lives of students at risk.
“It is understandable that as important it is to save the studies of these students, but nothing is more important than their lives,” the NSUI said in its letter to the Education Minister. Meanwhile, RSS’ youth wing, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, had also written to Pokhriyal, asking him to consider novel modes of conducting the examinations like open-book format and remote mode.
Notably, the majority of states have favoured holding short-duration, multiple-choice exams for Class XII boards, however, some like Delhi, West Bengal, and Punjab opposed, saying that students and teachers should be vaccinated for Covid-19 before any exams that require them to be present at the centres physically.
However, vaccinating students may not be possible because of the scarcity of vaccines and the fact that a large majority of students are below 18 years of age, sources said.
Earlier on Sunday, the centre proposed two options—multiple-choice/objective-type questions in a 90-minute examination in schools/institutions where students are enrolled or testing only for major subjects at designated centres in the existing format. For minor subjects, marks can be calculated as per the performance of major subjects, it was proposed.
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