While Class 10 exams have been cancelled, Class 12 students can either opt to appear for the exams or opt for results on an assessment basis.

CBSE ICSE cancel Class 10 and 12 board exams slated for July 1-15Representative image
news Education Thursday, June 25, 2020 - 14:58

The government on Thursday told the Supreme Court that the board exams for Class 10 and 12 — both CBSE and ICSE —  have been cancelled. They were slated to be held from July 1 to July 15.

The government told the court that CBSE has decided to cancel Class 10 board exams, while the Class 12 board exams have been made optional. Students can opt to appear for the Class 12 exam which will be held later, or opt for results on an assessment basis. 

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar that CBSE has a scheme where the marks scored in the past three examinations can be taken into account. For Class 12, the government said the exams will be conducted ‘as soon as the situation is conducive.’ 

“Class 12 board exams will be optional. They can either appear for the exam or opt for results on assessment bases. Those who do not opt for exams will have their past exams make up for their performance and assessment accordingly. Marks for students who opt for class 12 exams will have those marks as final,” Mehta said.

The government also told the court that the decision was taken after consulting states and that Delhi, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu had expressed their inability to conduct the exams. 

The Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ISCE) board also informed the court that it will also cancel the Class 10 and Class 12 exams and declare the assessment results. 

The court stated that it will be passing formal orders on Friday. The court told the government that it can file a fresh notification and clear instructions that a final decision of a later exam will be taken at the central level and not at state level.

CBSE has also been asked to issue a notification on Class 12 exams which will contain the details on the option between internal assessment and an exam, a clarification on status of state board exams, and the date of declaration of results.

The Supreme Court was hearing a petition filed by parents seeking the cancellation of the board exams. The CBSE had decided to conduct the pending board exams for classes 10 and 12 — which had been postponed due to the pandemic — from July 1 to July 15. 

A few parents had filed a plea in the Supreme Court, asking for the pending exams to be cancelled, in the interest of students’ safety. They had suggested that the students be graded based on internal assessments, or the exams that have already been held so far. 

The HRD Minister had recently held a meeting with representatives from the UGC (University Grants Commission), AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education), NTA (National Testing Agency) and CBSE, and had tweeted that the HRD Ministry “is committed to students' health and quality education.”

The CBSE had directed the schools to promote students of classes 9 and 11 to the respective next grades on the basis of school based assessments.

Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh states have all cancelled their respective state boards’ class 10 examinations owing to the rising COVID-19 cases in these states. Andhra Pradesh has also decided to cancel the supplementary exams for intermediate exams (class 11 and 12), stating that all students will be passed. In Telangana, however, students who missed the exams would be given a second chance in July.  

Recently, Tamil Nadu Member of Parliament Dr D Ravikumar had written to HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, demanding the Centre cancel the CBSE board exams. Even Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had written to the Union HRD Minister urging him to cancel pending board exams. “For the results in these subjects, CBSE may rely upon the previous school based internal assessments which include project work, periodic tests, term exam, etc,” Sisodia had said.