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Bold & historic call: Govt cancels Class XII exams

Wednesday, 02 June 2021 | PNS | New Delhi

ICSE follows suit; PM says decision taken to safeguard health and future of youth

The Government on Tuesday took a bold and historic decision by cancelling the Class 12 board exams 2021 conducted by the CBSE even though majority of the States and UTs had conveyed to the Ministry of Education their willingness to conduct the  exams by August.

The decision for the CBSE was followed by ICSE late in the evening. However, other States Boards are yet to take a new decision.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the cancellation of Board exams after chairing a crucial meeting on Class 12 board on Tuesday evening.

“The Government of India has decided to cancel the Class XII CBSE Board exams. After extensive consultations, we have taken a decision that is student-friendly, one that safeguards the health as well as future of our youth,” Modi took to Twitter to announce the decision taken in presence of several Union Ministers and top Government officials.

Minister of Education Ramesh Nishank Pokhriyal could not attend the meeting with the PM as he had to be admitted to AIIMS for post- Covid treatment.

The CBSE (and ICSE) will now take steps to compile the results of Class 12 students as per a “well-defined objective criteria” in a time-bound manner. “Class XII results will be made as per well-defined objective criteria in a time-bound manner,” the PM said.

Modi said the decision on the Class 12 CBSE board exams had been taken in the interest of students due to the uncertain situation created by the pandemic. The PM was briefed about all the possible options for Class 12 students.

A review meeting was held to discuss the fate of the CBSE and other State board exams amid the pandemic. Officials gave a detailed presentation on the wide and extensive consultation held so far and views received from all stakeholders, including the State Governments. It was also decided that like last year, in case some students desire to take the exams, such an option would be provided to them by the CBSE as and when the situation becomes conducive.

While there are approximately 21,271 CBSE schools in India and 220 schools in 28 foreign countries affiliated to the CBSE and about 13 lakh have registered for the Class 12 board exams this year, there are about 2,400 ICSE affiliated schools and annually 2.5 lakh students take the Class 12 exams.

The PM further stated that coronavirus has affected the academic calendar and the issue of Board Exams has been causing immense anxiety among students, parents and teachers, which must be put to an end.

“The health and safety of our students is of utmost importance and there would be no compromise on this aspect,” the PM said. He said in today’s time, such examinations cannot be the reason to put our youth at risk.

“Students should not be forced to appear for exams in such a stressful situation,” said Modi, adding that all stakeholders need to show sensitivity for students.

Modi also said the prevailing Covid-19 situation is a dynamic situation across the country. While the numbers are coming down in the country and some states are managing the situation through effective micro-containment, some states have still opted for a lockdown. Students, parents and teachers are naturally worried about the health of the students in such a situation.

Referring to the wide consultative process, the PM expressed appreciation that a student-friendly decision has been reached after consulting all stakeholders from across the length and breadth of India.

The PM also thanked the states for providing feedback on this issue. It was also decided that like last year, in case some students desire to take the exams, such an option would be provided to them by CBSE, as and when the situation becomes conducive.

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