Amid the covid- 19 growing covid-19 cases in the country, there are requests and pressure on the government for the cancellation of Class 12 Board exams 2021. In the wake of this, Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank will hold a crucial meeting on May 17.
According to the reports, Nishank might take a final call regarding the conduction of class 12 boards after interacting with education secretaries of all states on Monday. In the virtual meeting, the minister will review the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the education sector. Besides, he will also discuss the promotion of online education and the implementation of the New Education Policy (NEP).
“Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank will meet virtually all state education secretaries on Monday. The top agenda of the meeting will be COVID -19 pandemic and its impact on education, promotion of online education, implementation of the New Education policy and preparation made by states,” education ministry sources told ANI.
The ministry has already cancelled the Class 10 CBSE board exam last month and had postponed the CBSE board exam of Class 12 to begin from May 4, 202. But the situation in the country is worsening, the ministry will take a call on the future course of action.
Earlier, the Ministry of Education and CBSE had rubbished reports which claimed that the board is planning to scrap/ cancel class 12 board exams. “Discussions regarding the same are still underway. No such decision has been taken regarding the CBSE class 12 examinations as it is being speculated in certain sections of media. Any decision taken in this matter will be officially communicated to the public”, a Ministry official said.
A petition was also filed in the Supreme Court seeking the cancellation of the Class 12 board examination. “Conducting Class 12 board examination is not possible because of surging COVID-19 cases. Even online or offline examinations are not feasible because of the pandemic. Delay in the declaration of Class 12 results will hamper students taking admission in foreign universities”, the plea filed by advocate Mamta Sharma read.
In this regard, the plea cited a similar case of Amit Bathla v. CBSE which came up before the top court last year. In this case, the Supreme Court directed the respondents to compute and declare the result of class 12 students on the basis of their earlier grading as their main final examination had been postponed and could not be conducted due to an unprecedented situation caused by a pandemic.
The petitioner, therefore, sought an interim direction to declare the results of class 12 students by applying the same methodology.
Sharma pointed out that ICSE and CBSE have already accepted the severity of the COVID situation persisting in the country since they cancelled the class 10 board exams.
However, class 12 students have been meted out arbitrary treatment by merely postponing their exams instead of cancelling the same in view of the pandemic, she submitted.
“As far as the innocent students of class XII, step motherly, arbitrary, inhuman direction have been issued to postpone their final examination for an unspecified duration instead of following the directions propounded and accepted by them last year,” the plea stated.
The plea further stated that in view of the unprecedented health emergency and rising numbers of Covid -19, the conduct of examination (either offline/online or blended) in upcoming weeks is not possible.
Delay in the examination will cause irreparable loss to the students as time is the essence in taking admission in higher education courses in foreign universities, it was contended.
Further, the petitioner claimed that it cannot be legitimately expected from the boards to remain a mute spectator over the current situation and not to take a timely decision in respect of examination and declaration of result of more than 12 lakhs students of class XII.