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Class XII boards cancelled: In Delhi, some relieved, others wary of future ahead

With most students, parents and teachers having been in favour of scrapping the Class XII board exams, the general mood in Delhi following Tuesday’s announcement was that of relief — but peppered with some concern about what this could mean for the road ahead for students.

Anjum, a student of a government school in Khajuri, had a difficult final year of school with online learning. Grasping very little, she would use her elder sister’s smartphone after the latter would return home from work. “This is the best for everyone. Not only for students, but also for all our teachers as even they would have been at risk. They are like our family… I didn’t have a great year of school and the online tests we gave during the year weren’t great either. But our teachers taught us really well during the little time we got to go to school earlier this year, and my pre-boards went well. The most important thing here is everybody’s health and lives,” she said.

Welcoming the move, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted on Tuesday, “I am glad the 12th exams have been cancelled. All of us were very worried about the health of our children. A big relief,”

Questions regarding the evaluation rationale are weighing heaviest on the minds of students who are looking at admissions through cut-off marks. Janvi Jain is a Commerce student at Mount Abu Public School, who wants to study BA (Honours) Economics at Delhi University, a programme which has sky-high cut-offs across colleges every year. “This decision is something almost all students were in favour of, so it’s for the best. But I personally wanted the exams to be conducted, because I think it is the fairest manner of evaluation. No internal assessment would work as well,” she said.

Awadhesh Kumar Jha, the principal of a government school in Rohini, admitted that most students had been unable to give “their hundred percent” in the internal assessments conducted through the year, but said this can be worked around. “The students’ Class X results should also be given weightage and we would be allowed to moderate as in the case of Class X students. A policy similar to the Class X students is the best option… There are around 1.5 crore students in the country in Class XII. The truth is that only a fraction go to a place like Delhi University, or even a regular university. This decision favours the majority and the lakhs involved in the exercise of conducting the exams,” he said.

While schools and students await the CBSE criteria based on which the students will be evaluated, there are some concerns that the stakeholders hope will be addressed. “For Class XII students, there is adequate data available for evaluation, as they’ve already been tested by the CBSE in Class X. But there are some late bloomers, and in Class X, students are subjected to all subjects while in Class XII, they’ve had some choice. With internal assessment, all schools have their own reasons and ways of marking students. Some are more lenient and believe in marking students well throughout. Others are more restrained and want to keep students more grounded as they are prepared for the main exams. This whole exercise is to de-stress students and I am sure all things will be considered,” said Sangeeta Bhatia, principal KIIT World School.

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