Published: 23rd April 2021
Weightage solely on entrance test or +2 marks? What students, colleges have to say after CBSE Class 12 exam postponement
The Education Ministry has said it will review the situation on June 1 and decide the fresh dates for the CBSE Class 12 board exams
On April 16, the Union Education Ministry postponed the CBSE Class 12 board exams and cancelled the Class 10 exams amid growing concerns from students and parents across the country over the massive surge in COVID-19 cases. While it was a huge relief for the Class 10 students, the Class 12 students were left in the lurch. The Ministry said it will review the situation on June 1 to decide fresh dates for the +2 exams and make an announcement at least two weeks before the commencement of the exams. However, students are not quite satisfied with this as they are also concerned about college admissions and what will be given more weightage in the current scenario.
Seerat Mehra, a Commerce student from the Convent of Jesus and Mary School, New Delhi, says there's a massive amount of pressure on students as they are clueless. "We still don't have any clarity, we will only get to know on June 1. The uncertainty, the fact that no one is sure of when the exams will happen or not, that is bringing in an immense amount of pressure and stress for students. We have been preparing for the exams for the past year, it's getting a bit frustrating, but we have no choice. We just want to get it over with. Some of the colleges I had planned to apply to have said that if the boards are cancelled, they will solely rely on the entrance test performance for admissions. We focused both on our boards and entrances but now if they consider just one, students might be impacted," she adds.
However, a student from a CBSE school in Chennai, who wanted to remain anonymous, prefers taking the college entrance exams and getting admitted to UG programmes on the basis of their performance in the test. "If the government takes the decision in June to cancel the board exams, then we will have to depend solely on the entrance tests, I would prefer taking that in the current scenario. Mostly they would be conducted online and we could take it from home. Instead of the incessant wait for the Class 12 boards to happen, admission through entrance tests are better. We have already been preparing for the board exams for the past year, we have had online classes but they aren't sufficient," he said.
While some universities are planning to look only at the entrance test results, others have extended application dates to make it easier for students to submit all their documents including the board exam mark sheets. Dr Meena Chintamaneni, Registrar, SVKM's NMIMS Deemed-to-be University said, "The varsity will continue with its schedule, as announced earlier, for the entrance exams that enable admissions to our various UG programmes. We may not give weightage to the Class 12 marks of candidates, and provisional admissions will be given based solely on our test score. We propose to commence our academic year for UG programmes in the month of August 2021."
Dr Akhil Shahani, Managing Director, Thadomal Shahani Centre for Management said, "Adapting to the COVID lockdown, many colleges have transitioned to administering their exams online. Unfortunately, since school exam boards have chosen not to adapt to this online model, they have been forced to cancel their Class 10 and 12 exams. This will be disruptive for students. For example, many students take it easy during the academic year and study hard only in the last couple of months before their board exams to get high scores. Giving marks based on average student performance through the year will make it difficult for students to get into desired colleges where each percentage point makes a huge difference. Also, if mark sheets are delayed, it will be tough for students to submit their completed applications for foreign colleges in time, which could cause them to miss a year. Bearing in mind the challenges students are facing, The Shahani Group institutions have extended the commencement dates of the courses. We are also facilitating provisional admissions for students whose exam results may be delayed, to give them time to submit their mark sheets."
Similarly, SP Jain School of Global Management has also extended intake closing dates to accommodate students' concerns.
Dr Vaidyanathan Jayaraman, Global Dean - UG programmes (Sydney, Singapore, Dubai & Mumbai), SP Jain School of Global Management, added, "The postponement of the board exams for Grade 12 students is probably going to cause a ripple effect in the college admissions process, as a delay in holding the board exams leads to a delay in receiving college applications, registrations and admissions. However, we have adjusted our intake closing dates. Our incoming batch commences only in September. Hence, this postponement would not have any drastic effect on our intake because students still have time to submit all the documents and get accepted to our programmes."
Apart from colleges and students, CBSE schools feel that the pandemic has shown them how important it is to adapt to new technology quickly so that the education system becomes capable enough to overcome such challenges. Kavita Sahay Kerawalla, Vice-Chairperson, VIBGYOR Group Of Schools, says, "Unlike last year we have been seeing more cases of children getting affected by COVID-19 this year due to mutated strains. In such a scenario, nothing is worth risking our children's health and lives. In times like this, our educational institutions need to adapt and innovate in curriculum designing and delivery. I believe that it is an opportunity for our education system to innovate and evolve and make ourselves so robust that we are always ready for such unseen challenges, and enable our children too to overcome them."