Relief, doubt, uncertainty – CBSE decision on board exams evokes mixed response


The decision taken by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to cancel the Class X board exams and postpone the Class XII exams has evoked mixed response from the parents, teachers and students.

Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank had announced on Wednesday that the CBSE board exams for Class X have been cancelled while the exams for Class XII have been postponed in view of the exponential spike in the number of Covid-19 cases across the country. According to the minister, Class XII exams will be held at a later date after the CBSE reviews the situation on June 1.

While Class X students are concerned about the criteria to be announced for promotion to the next level, Class XII students are worried about their academic future after school.

Ritu Rinwa, the mother of a Class XII student at The Mother’s International School located in Delhi’s Sri Aurobindo Marg, said that the decision must be welcomed amid the sudden surge in Covid cases across the country, particularly in the national capital.

“But there is some uncertainty and doubt among the students with regard to their academic future. My daughter and her friends are now concerned about NEET and JEE, and about the chances of going abroad for higher studies. The government has taken a clear stand for the Class X exams, but doubts persist over the Class XII exams. What happens to the future of Class XII students if the situation doesn’t improve in May? The government must clarify this ppoint,” Rinwa said.

Welcoming the decision, Meenakshi Gupta, the Principal of SD Public School at Delhi’s Patel Nagar, said, “Amid this unprecedented crisis, the mental and physical health of our children is more important than any examination. This is a well balanced decision which has brought relief to the students of Class X. Given that the Class XII boards are a gateway examination, it is fair on the part of the CBSE to borrow more time before reaching a final decision.”

Echoing Gupta’s sentiments, the President of All India Parents Association (AIPA), Ashok Agarwal, said, “The decision has been taken in the best interest of the students’ health, therefore we welcome the move. But the way the decision was taken shows the government’s causal approach. At first, despite suggestions from different quarters, the government did not take a stand for conducting the exams,” Agarwal said.

Agarwal also demanded that the exam fee collected from Class X students must be returned.

The President of Affordable Private Schools’ Association, Lakshya Chhabaria, said, “We are facing a global education crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The students have suffered huge academic loss. The CBSE’s decision to suspend and postpone exams due to the sudden burst of cases is tough, but in favour of the children’s health. Therefore, we appreciate the government’s decision and we are hopeful that the CBSE will do justice to the Class X and Class XII students of 2020-21.”

Realising that the exam centres could soon turn into Covid hotspots, the parents said that the decision is good for the students’ health.

Narender Sharma, the father of a Class X student at St. Thomas School in Ghaziabad’s Indirapuram, said that health is the first priority for everyone, but the CBSE must ensure that the cancellation doesn’t give undue benefits to the students who did not study throughout the year.

Few students believe that cancellation of Class X exams will benefit the non-meritorious students. One student said that all her hard work of one year have gone waste as everyone will be promoted to the next class without actual and proper evaluation.

“We learnt that Class X students will now be evaluated on the basis of some criteria fixed by the CBSE, but it is unfair for the students who worked hard throughout the year,” she said.

The Managing Director of Little Flowers Group of Schools, Rohit Dua, said, “It’s a great decision taken by the Education Ministry, a very timely step taken for the safety and well-being of the students. This is really beneficial for Class X students, now they can timely plan their future endeavours.”

“Class XII students should focus on their preparation for the entrance exams and not drop their revision schedule for the board exams which will happen soon as per the instructions of the higher authorities,” Dua added.