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Supreme Court asks CBSE, ICSE to address concerns over Class 12 evaluation formula by tomorrow 

The petitioners argued that CBSE's decision to conduct compartments exams when the situation becomes conducive will create difficulties in admission to higher institutes. The apex court will hear the matter again on June 22 at 2 pm.

By: PTI | New Delhi |
Updated: June 21, 2021 2:34:18 pm
CBSE Board exam date, CBSE examinations, Delhi government schools, offline classes, Delhi news, Indian express newsThe Supreme Court has adjourned the hearing regarding CBSE, ICSE evaluation criteria for June 22. File.

The Supreme Court on Monday asked CBSE and ICSE to respond by tomorrow to the concerns raised by some students and parents on the schemes of both the boards formulated to evaluate Class 12 students, whose examination was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A parents’ association and students flagged several concerns with regard to the CBSE and ICSE schemes for evaluation for Class 12 results and said that many clauses are arbitrary and would be detrimental to future prospects of the students.

A special bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari said that it will hear the response of counsels for CBSE and ICSE on Tuesday on the concerns raised by interveners.

The bench also directed the registry to list all pending petitions in the matter on Tuesday, June 22, in which they have challenged the decision of CBSE to cancel the class 12 examination and raised concerns on the evaluation schemes of both the boards.

Read | CBSE teachers and students concerned about inclusion of Class 10, 11 marks 

At the outset, senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for intervener UP Parents Association, Lucknow, said that option to students for external examination as given in the CBSE’s scheme will be “a premium” for those students who could not do well in internal assessment.

Singh said, “This option should be given at the very initial stage to both student and school to opt for either external examination or internal assessment. If any school or student does not want to opt for this internal assessment then a date may be fixed for external examination in mid-July or any date found conducive for holding of the examination.”

The bench said that there should be some ray of hope for the students and there should not be any confusion. “Decision for cancellation of examination has been taken at the highest level and we have in principle accepted it,” the bench said.

Singh said there are several concerns with regard to the evaluation scheme of the students which are increasing uncertainty and no one knows what exactly would happen.

He said that it has been provided in the CBSE scheme that marks obtained by a student in any subject in internal assessment (based upon marks obtained in class 10 (30 per cent), class 11 (30 per cent) and class 12 pre-board examination (40 per cent)) shall not exceed the best marks obtained by ex-students in the said schools in the specific reference year (best year subject- wise amongst past three class 12 board exams) by more than 2 marks.

Singh said that there may be a case where due to past poor performance of students in a particular subject, the school hires a good teacher and the students performed well in their internal examination but they are likely to suffer due to poor performance by the ex-students.

“The present batch of students (or for that reason any student) may suffer because the marks obtained by ex-students in the reference year is lower than what present batch of students have obtained in any subject,” he said, adding that maximum the student would be given is the grace of two marks.

Singh said, “Such irrational policy of linking the present batch of students with that of the past performance of ex-students cannot be legally sustained under any circumstances. The present batch of students cannot be penalised for the past performances of ex-students.”

Also Read | CBSE CISCE Class 12th Results 2021 Updates: New guidelines issued to help schools in result preparation

He said that there should be uniformity in the evaluation scheme as English has been made mandatory for calculating average marks in the CISCE scheme, while in CBSE there is no such requirement and the best of three marks are taken.

“The policy of internal assessment should be uniform for both central boards. There is practically no scheme of internal assessment envisaged by ICSE. There are only a few letters to that effect. There are various variables that are not defined namely weightage for board exams is not defined anywhere. There is no clarification and teachers are in utter confusions,” he said.

The senior lawyer said that he had a discussion with a Math teacher about the evaluation formula suggested by the board to which he had said that it is very complicated. The bench said that what kind of maths teacher he is if he doesn’t understand the formula and added that the court is not going by the perception of individuals and looking at the institutional response.

Advocate Abhishek Choudhury, appearing for private students and those with the second compartment, said that CBSE has said that they will be facing difficulties in admission to higher institutes as CBSE class exam 12 will be held when the situation is conducive, maybe in July or August.

The bench said it might direct that admissions will be subject to the outcome of the board exam results but asked him to argue the points on Tuesday. The bench listed the matter for further hearing on Tuesday at 2 pm.

On June 17, the top court had said that there is no question of reversing the earlier decision to cancel class 12 board exams and had approved the assessment schemes of the CISCE and the CBSE, which has adopted 30:30:40 formulas for evaluation of marks for students based on results of class 10, 11 and 12 respectively.

The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) said however that it would consider the performance of students for the last six years, unlike CBSE which is taking note of performance in class 10, 11 and 12 exams, in finalising the final board results. Both the boards had said they would declare the class 12 results on or before July 31.

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