Experts say postponement of exams will be more stressful for students due to the accompanying uncertainty.


New Delhi: The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) on Friday announced to postpone board examinations for class 12 and made written examination optional for class 10 board examinations. The decision on the dates for board examinations will be taken on 1 June after reviewing the Covid situation. On Wednesday, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) cancelled Class 10 examinations and postponed the Class 12 examinations amid the rising number of Covid cases. Following the decision of CBSE, several state boards have also decided to cancel their class 10 board examinations.

After a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal said that the situation would be reviewed on 1 June by the board and details would be shared subsequently. A notice of at least 15 days will be given before the start of the examinations. Several educationists are claiming that postponement of the examinations will prove to be more stressful for the students due to the accompanying uncertainty. Some also welcomed the move and said that it is in the best interest of the students.

Reeta Sonawat, Advisory Council,  Association of Indian Schools, told The Sunday Guardian: “Almost everyone is well aware of the precautions to be taken to protect themselves from coronavirus. If one takes all the necessary precautions like wearing mask and face shield properly, following social distancing norms, and sanitizing hands at regular intervals, there is not much to worry about. Everyone knows this and it should be followed by all. With respect to stress, the students will be more stressed if the examinations are not conducted as per the schedule or canceled completely. Ideally, schools should follow all the standard operating procedures (SOPs) to hold the examinations on their premises. Essentially, benches and classrooms should be sanitized on time and properly. Recently, the NEET was conducted in offline mode, the CBSE can do the same by following all the precautionary guidelines. In fact, the NEET was very well organized, it’s a good example of the success story. We can replicate the same for conducting the CBSE Class 12 board examinations. Postponement of the examinations will prove to be more stressful for the adolescents due to the accompanying uncertainty.”

Dr Bijaya Kumar Sahoo, advisor-cum-working president, Odisha Adarsha Vidyalaya Sangathan and Founder Mentor, Sai International Education Group, told The Sunday Guardian: “It is a good decision by the government to cancel the CBSE Class X board examinations 2021, keeping in mind the best interests of the students and ensuring that their health is taken care of and at the same time, their academic interests are not harmed. It is a great relief for lakhs of students who would have appeared in the examinations during the pandemic. We will be waiting for the objective criterion to be developed by the board for preparing the results of Class X. But yes for Class XII, June will not be a conducive month for holding examinations as the students would be looking forward to their other competitive and career examinations such as NEET, BITSAT, CLAT, JEE Advanced, and applications for both Indian and foreign universities. I am looking forward to a decision which will be helpful for the students. An early declaration of revised schedule will reduce the stress and anxiety of both students and parents, as this decision has left the students in a lot of dilemma and anxiety as to how to plan their way forward.”

Several sector experts also said that this postponement will lead to delayed results and ultimately crunched timelines for students planning to pursue under graduation courses abroad.

Vaibhav Singh, Co-Founder, Leap, told The Sunday Guardian: “The delayed board results will lead to a potentially crunched timeline for students planning to pursue UG courses abroad. The impact should be less for US aspirants since most US colleges have a fairly holistic approach in admissions with a relatively lower weight on just the board results. However, for countries like the UK and Australia, board results are a more important input. These countries offer conditional admission which gets confirmed once the board results are shared. The delay in the results this year would mean the time window between admission confirmation and course commencement in these countries will be shorter; students are therefore advised to keep everything else, visa documentation, financing, etc. ready, so that they can act quickly once confirmation is received. Indian students are important community members on global college campuses, so I expect colleges to be fully supported through more relaxed requirements/ timelines to ensure bright Indian students can enroll with them this Fall. The delayed board results will obviously have no impact on students moving abroad for Masters / Postgraduate programs. These form the lion’s share of Indian students studying abroad and hence overall expect the study abroad market to have a very strong year given the pent-up demand from 2020.”