Contemporary mark sheet 2021 based on students’ historic records. Fair or Unfair?

Keeping in mind the utmost safety and security of students of the country, the hon’ble prime minister cancelled the upcoming board exams for class 12 on June 4, 2021. The decision was taken in an urgent meeting held by PM Modi and other important members representing the cabinet and officials from CBSE. Cancellation of board exams for the session 2020-2021 was the biggest demand for students and various teachers because of the lack of venue based classes.

The reason behind the cancellation was skyrocketing cases of coronavirus in the country and thus education was continuing online. Few schools affiliated with CBSE also conducted practicals in February and March by following the guidelines in the SOP released by the CBSE. The exams were supposed to happen offline and CBSE left no stone unturned for letting this not happen and thus this created a menace. It attracted a lot of activism from students, teachers, activists, public speakers, lawyers and principals of schools. Noone was in favour of exams to be conducted offline due to a lot of reasons such as : 

  1. Many economically weaker section students were not in state or near the centres and were accommodating in hometown villages. 
  2. The clumps of students after the exam to discuss various questions just outside the centres can become mass spreaders of covid. 
  3. The lack of physical teacher created chaos and intense pressure in minds of students as many suffered psychological problems relating to the fact that it may deteriorate their performance and grades achieved in 12th class are used throughout life. 
  4. Most families faced financial difficulties and thus they did not enrol for any extracurricular tuition for subjects. 

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On the other hand, CBSE might have felt the need for examination for students in the physical state rather than online due to various reasons. 

  1. The use of tactics like copying content from the internet and noting it in the answer booklet. This created huge problems as students started taking exams as an absolute joke and they skipped studying. 
  2. The discussion of answers by forming informal groups amongst students on various networking sites like Whatsapp, Facebook and Instagram. This was done as the teacher cannot supervise the students in a physical manner. 
  3. Most students were not appearing for the exams and the seriousness was dropping which was something alarming and needed attention. 
  4. A lot of students were skipping examinations and classes by stating issues with network and broadband at their place. This also resulted in late submission of exams and they were no more time-bound! 

As the reasons above are quite convincing and thus CBSE was determined to conduct offline exams to avoid any menace and ensure smooth functioning of authorities and planning the chronology ahead accordingly. But the cases of coronavirus changed the situation drastically as it created trouble for parents and students to accept the decision of offline exams in those disastrous situations. A lot of students started voicing their opinions by tagging authorities of CBSE and various other Cabinet ministers on Twitter and became Number 1 trending at certain points of time.

A lot of memes were also shared and interviews of veteran scientists, journalists, teachers and professors also suggested either cancellation or online mode. Prime minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi held an urgent meeting to take the final call for the students who were awaiting a decision for a long time and surprised students and teachers with the cancellation of the exams. 

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Now that the exams have cancelled a concern was also growing amongst students about how they will be marked. In the first week of June, a lot of students remained in seventh heaven and ninth sky as their happiness knew no bounds because they never expected a decision on cancellation of exams. After some point in time, a lot of students realised the need of writing exams as now the decision of marks is totally on CBSE and is final and binding. 

A lot of teachers and students speculated a number of methods how they can be evaluated without giving exams and mainly three or less were looking serious like 

  1. Evaluation of students entirely based on pre boards and practicals 
  2. Inclusion of class 11 marks because of the same subjects to know a clear picture of the student and his potential for academic excellence. 
  3. Online exam to be conducted by schools themselves. 

The CBSE came with a groundbreaking decision on Saturday, June 19 that they will be following a 30:30:40 Formula for giving results of class 12 board exams. This decision of marks was awaited by 15 lakh Students of class 12 enrolled with CBSE and CISCE inclusive. This means the class 12 mark sheet will be a brief of the performance of a student in the previous 3 classes as well because the single entity of class 12 is no more visible in the 30:30:40 formula of class 12. The marks scored in class 10 and 11 can highly influence the upcoming results.

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The decision was taken jointly by a bench of judges and Attorney General K.K. Venugopal, appearing Centre and Solicit General Tushar Mehta appearing CBSE jointly told the court that marks secured in class 10 by each student in Top 3 subjects ( subjects having the highest marks ) and marks in class 11 along with all midterm and unit examinations in class 12 including practicals will be taken in final weightage which will stand as 30% for 10th class, 30% for class 11 and 40% for class 12.  

Most of the students find it unjust and irrelevant because they feel that their historic performance is disturbing their contemporary performance. A student who could not secure good marks in grade 10 but was prepared for class 12 exams in all aspects are under pressure because his 30% marks entirely class 10 which can even spoil his result which will last for a long time. Most of the teachers and students also seem to be satisfied as it only accounts for 30% in class 10 but somewhere or the other a lot of them believe that academic grades which are more than 2 years old are influencing the student’s contemporary performance.

Edited by Aishwarya Ingle

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