Class 10 and 12 students from CBSE schools on Tuesday welcomed the decision by the board to split the academic term in two terms in view of the pandemic saying it is a ”timely” move which has brought ”big relief” for them. Bifurcating the academic session, holding two term-end exams and rationalising the syllabus were part of the special assessment scheme for class 10 and 12 board examinations in 2021-22 announced by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on Monday in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The term one exams will be conducted by the Board in November-December, 2021 while the second term exams will be conducted in March-April, 2022, ”The assessment scheme shared by the CBSE is a welcome step. But, it may add additional pressure on students as they will have to prepare for multiple examinations. However, with 50 per cent division of syllabus, it will also ease the burden as we don’t have to prepare the entire syllabus in one go,” said Shrironika Jain, a class 12 student from Heritage Xperiential Learning School. ”Internal assessment will include more practical and skill-based projects which will add a lot more to our portfolio and the good part is that the marks will now be part of the overall evaluation. It would be good if we could opt for online examinations given that the third wave is just around the corner,” Jain added.
According to Sanya Ganjoo, class 12 student from Seth Anandram Jaipuria School, Vasundhara, Ghaziabad, in light of the ongoing pandemic, this decision made by the CBSE is very proactive. “The decision is timely, which is laudable because the students now have time to prepare. Despite the pressure, I feel that we students are now enabled to approach our subjects with fervour and zeal, especially with the help of the MCQ and Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) format for the two terms respectively,” she said.
Ajay from Nirmal Bhatia School believes the new scheme eases out the amount of pressure a student faces while learning over 50 chapters across various subjects and is then assessed on one exam in the end. “The two term examination idea is very well thought out and we can see that the government and the CBSE is finally beginning to give priority to students’ safety and not burden them with the undue pressure and stress of excessive syllabi and the board examination,” he said.
Yash Handa, a student of K R Mangalam World School, Gurugram, termed the CBSE’s decision as a ”big relief”. “It’ll be a big relief, especially for the class 12 students. Apart from getting more time to prepare for the board exams, we shall also have time to prepare for other competitive/entrance exams. Furthermore, this decision shall have a positive impact on our mental well-being as splitting the years shall reduce stress levels for all students at large,” he said. Easwar, another class 12 student at Nirmal Bhartia School in Dwarka, said, ”It’s the right direction as cutting down the massive syllabus that students have to read up on into shorter modules will mean that we can focus more on understanding rather than just cramming everything.”
According to Alka Kapur, principal, Modern Public School in Shalimar Bagh, the plan is very good but the implementation needs to be effective and quick. “we will be able to bring desired results. Since the internal assessment will continue throughout the year, the students will also take their exams more seriously. While this measure has been introduced to counter the uncertainty around the exams created by the pandemic, I believe it should stay in effect even after the pandemic subsides,” she said.
Manit Jain, Chairman of FICCI Arise, a collegium of stakeholders aimed at promoting quality education, said the CBSE’s decision is a ”significant step forward in the right direction and we are hopeful these changes precipitated by the crisis, would lead to reforms that will outlast the pandemic”. “I am sure the details will get ironed out, what is laudable is the courage CBSE authorities are showing in embracing this much-needed change. It is not the examinations that are a problem but it is the high stakes on a single exam that lead to unwarranted stress. ”Any single exam can at best be the indicator of a child’s performance at that moment and can never represent her true potential,” he said.