Editorial Team

Giving utmost importance to the health and safety of our students, the government has finally decided to cancel CBSE Class 12 board exams and ISC exams. The results – according to the ministry – will be prepared in accordance with “well-defined criteria, in a fair and time-bound manner.” We see many happy faces among students, teachers and parents. However, a few are still anxious about the results and future. Here are some quick reactions from students and education experts on CBSE Class 12 Board Exams cancellation.

 

Dr. Niranjan Hiranandani, Provost, HSNC University

“Keeping in mind the surging risk of infection via the detrimental coronavirus, I understand and laud Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modiji’s decision to cancel Class 12 board exams. The announcement repressed the uncertainty that would have otherwise affected the youth and also met the trending #cancelboardexams2021 demand of students and industry bodies while ascertaining that the academic calendar will not be affected further. The results will be compiled per well-defined criteria by CBSE and terminate the anxiety of stakeholders. I’m happy that this decision is made in favor of India’s future, ensuring their health is not at stake.”

Rajendra S. Pawar, Founder, NIIT University & Chairman and Co-founder, NIIT Group

“Given the current circumstances, the decision to cancel the CBSE 12th board exams is the correct decision. Holding exams in these times would have been patently unfair since students, under varying degrees of stress, would have performed at levels inconsistent with their potential. I feel we should look at this situation as an opportunity to reevaluate our assessment methods in education and introduce ways to evaluate their overall development. This would be consistent with the New Education Policy (NEP) 2020.

At NIIT University (NU), students undergo a unique Admissions Interaction Process (AIP) which assesses their potential, aspirations, social sensitivities and many such attributes which cannot be tested easily. The applicants and their parents interact with the University staff from the comfort of their homes, using digital capabilities implemented over the last 10 years at NU. Challenging times demand innovative solutions. We are making it easy for students to reach out to us, raise their apprehensions, seek the advice, and support that they need.”

Sumeet Mehta, Co-founder & CEO, LEAD

“Once it was clear that we can’t vaccinate teachers and students in time, it was prudent for Class 12 exams to get cancelled. Now we need to answer how colleges will decide their admission criteria in the absence of a fair and equitable marking mechanism for Class 12 students. Hope we can come up with a solution that is fair to all students. But the larger issue that no one is raising is that this issue of Class 12 exams affects only 15 million students. What about the close to 200 million students who have got no learning for the past 15 months? How do we take care of them?”

Vivek Jain, Chief Business Officer, Shiksha.com and NaukriFastForward

“The decision of cancellation of CBSE and ICSE Class XII Board Exams taken keeping the student’s safety in consideration is upright and student-friendly. We hope students and their parents can feel at ease with the announcement. The scoring method for the Class 12 exam is awaited. It will be a good idea to give an option to students to appear for Board exam if they are not happy with scoring method.”

Sahil Agarwal, Co-Founder and CEO, Rishihood University

“We welcome the move to cancel the board exams. It’s in the best interest of the student’s safety. At Rishihood, we had declared more than a month ago that we will selecting students based on their past academic records and interviews. The board exam is an archaic method to judge a student’s ability and it needs major reforms. We have to quickly move to an aptitude-based testing system as envisioned in the NEP.”

Chandrabhanu Pattajoshi, Founder, Goseeko

“While the cancellation of CBSE Class 12 exams addresses the apprehensions of parents regarding the safety and well-being of their children, we must prepare to build exam systems with a graded approach. An approach where students are evaluated through multiple interventions throughout the year, especially critical years such as Class 10 and Class 12. This will enable future education systems to take them well while also helping the industry to accept these new ways of evaluating students during placements and beyond. Academics along with co-curricular activities, leadership skills, creative and decision-making skills will act as a complete guide to nurture our students in their ‘Academics to Career’ journey and make them future ready for the next-gen workforce.”

Dr. Sandeep Shastri, Vice-Chancellor, Jagran Lakecity University

“The pandemic has created multiple uncertainties. Given the spread of the virus and the atmosphere of fear and tension, canceling an end exam for 12th grade seemed the best alternative. What will be vital is the framework that will be worked out for the overall assessment. This episode should also inspire us to have a searching second look at our assessment system and focus on continuous assessment rather than rely on a single examination. We at Jagran Lakecity University anticipated this challenge and are basing our admission on an entrance test which provides for a 360-degree assessment as well as an online dialogue between the prospective student and our faculty.”

Divya Lal, Founder and Managing Director, Fliplearn

“We are pleased with Government’s decision that has kept student safety above all other concerns. We are hopeful that the chosen criteria for assessing students will be fair and in keeping with student’s efforts through the year. Advances in pedagogy and technology practices in education have already shown that online assessment, made easy with digital technologies, is a powerful tool to evaluate students. The long anxious wait of students has come to an end with this decision of the government.”

Vinay Sharma, Head of Digital & Services, S.Chand and Co. (Mylestone and Learnflix)

“We agree with the decision of the government as the health and safety of the students is a top priority and there can be no compromise on that. We believe that govt will come up with a fair system of parameters to assess the students so that their future career path is not affected.”

Michael Lawson, Regional Director – Recruitment, Heriot-Watt University Dubai

“As a university, we put student wellbeing at the heart of all that we do. And in light of the situation in India, we completely understand why the CBSE Class 12 Board Exams 2021 have therefore been cancelled. Given that these are unprecedented times that call for change, and in order to support our community of parents and students, we announced some time ago that we would be making admissions decisions based on school assessed grades, such as grades during mock exams or pre-boards, as well as predicted scores.

We believe these are a good indicator of student performance, based on which we are able to make an informed decision. In fact, we have already admitted several students through this process, and will continue to do so. Student interviews will be conducted with our faculty where appropriate. We have also introduced alternative English language proficiency assessment tests like Pearson Versant and DuoLingo where applicable.

Additionally, as we have several applicants from India, Heriot-Watt University Dubai (HWUD) has launched special scholarships for all students from India. Called the COVID-19 Relief Scholarships, it will offer all Indian students enrolling from India a fee reduction of AED 8,000 or INR 160,000 approximately for the September 2021 intake. Students will be eligible for an additional scholarship of up to 50% over and above the COVID-19 Relief Scholarships. They will also be guaranteed transfer to the UK Campus after two years in Dubai as part of the University’s 2+2 programme at the Undergraduate level. The scholarship is applicable to all Undergraduate, Postgraduate and Foundation programmes.

We hope that all of the above measures will make the transition to higher education smoother and less stressful for prospective students and their families, and we wish them good health.”

Charu Wahi, Principal, Nirmal Bhartia School

“A decision taken in the best interest of the children. However, the next step is equally critical and crucial in terms of deciding the process and criteria based on which the children’s performance will be gauged. This should be done keeping in mind that many of them make that extra effort during the last mile and hence, should be given due advantage.”

Praveen Raju, Co-Chair, FICCI ARISE; Founder, Suchitra Academy

“Given the current situation, it is the right decision to cancel the CBSE Board exams. There is no way we could have held exams without compromising the safety of children. While we welcome the decision, we hope the modalities would be worked out quickly in consultation with stakeholders. Since 12th marks are important factor that affects students’ career, we expect CBSE to ensure students don’t get affected with the methodology of awarding marks.”

 Kunal Vasudeva, COO, Indian School of Hospitality

“We welcome the government’s decision to cancel 12th class board exams. It is a well-thought decision and it rightly reflects the progressive stance India has about education, at the policy level. Student safety is at the centre of all we’re doing right now and this move will certainly help reduce anxieties among both students and parents. This was the right call to take and we’re happy to adapt our admission cycle as per the new guidelines.”

Shishir Jaipuria, Chairman, Seth Anandram Jaipuria Group of Educational Institutions

“The decision to cancel class XII Board exams is clearly taken in the interest of the health and safety of students and teachers. Many students and their parents will heave a sigh of relief. The uncertainty over the Class XII Board Exams happening during the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic had many of them anxious and nervous. But now, we move on to the next challenge, which is to come up with a fair and reliable criterion for assessing the academic performance of these students. Deserving students must be allocated grades or marks corresponding to their yearly performance. It’s a challenge that will require a great deal of meticulous thinking for arriving at a just criterion for academic assessment. I’m sure the schools and boards will rise to the challenge and deliver what’s best for the students.”

 Prof (Dr.) Milind Padalkar, Pro Chancellor (Designate), The NorthCap University

“We welcome the decision taken by the Government to cancel the CBSE 12th board examinations. The pandemic has imposed severe emotional and financial hardship on the students and their families. Many have suffered the loss of their near and dear ones and their grief is unimaginable. The disruption in the educational activity has been acute, and we cannot expect the students to be in a fit frame of mind to study and be prepared for the examinations. The Government needs to be complemented for having taken a compassionate view of the situation and for focusing on reducing further health risks. We hope that CBSE quickly implements alternative mechanisms to assess the students in a fair manner so that their prospects for higher education are not impeded.”

Rajiv Bansal, Director-Operations – Global Indian International School (GIIS), India

We are in full agreement with Govt.’s timely decision of cancelling Class XII examinations, thereby ending the uncertainty and anxiety prevailing in the minds of the students preparing for the exams. It is important to note that an option has been provided to students who wish to appear for the exams at a later date, when the situation becomes conducive for conduct of exams. Additionally, a well-defined, time bound criterion, will be ensured for assessment. Admission in undergraduate courses, across India and internationally, are dependent on Class XII results, therefore, the sooner these details are announced, better it would be for the students, their parents, and the entire academic community. We wish all Class XII students the very best for their future. In these tough times, it is crucial to remain resilient and optimistic.”

Aditya Chandra, XII (Science), Global Indian International School (GIIS) Noida

“It is relieving to know that we don’t have to go through the stressful situation of appearing physically for the examination not knowing what we might be exposed to. However, I am anxious to know about my final CBSE results. Our 12th examination is a determining factor for our future, so I hope Universities are considerate and will look at alternative and comprehensive ways of evaluating basis our merit during admission procedure.”

Sulekha Sharma, PGT-English, Global Indian International School (GIIS) Noida

“These have been turbulent times for the entire academic community. Class 12th results are the basis of a student’s future career decision and are seen as a qualifying criterion by numerous Universities. Detailed clarity on the scheme of marking and result creation will help students and teachers understand how the mechanics would play out. These details will also help students make an appropriate career decision and choose their future path. Having said that, safety and wellbeing of all students is paramount and as we battle this deadly pandemic, it is imperative to prioritize health and life over anything else.”

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