Pressure mounts on government to cancel SSLC and II PU exams
CBSE and the CISCE cancelled their respective class 12 board examinations in view of COVID-19
A day after the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) cancelled their respective class 12 board examinations, parents and students of second year pre-university and class 10 SSLC students are urging the Karnataka government to take a similar decision. Both national boards had earlier announced their decision to cancel class 10 board examinations in the wake of the second wave of COVID-19.
The Karnataka government, however, is yet to take a call on this issue. Primary and Secondary Education Minister S. Suresh Kumar, in a press statement on Wednesday, said that they have consulted extensively with teachers, educators and parents. “A right decision will be made in the coming days keeping in mind the health and the academic future of the students,” stated the Minister.
Sources in the Department of Primary and Secondary Education said that assessing students will be a challenge if the examination is cancelled. as the practice of continuous and comprehensive evaluation was not adopted in government and private PU colleges. That said, many colleges were able to conduct at least one test, assignment or exam during the academic year.
According to the Department of Pre-University Education, 80% of second PU students have had some sort of assessment in the 2020-21 academic year. Around 30% of SSLC students have had no assessments for the same period.
Students are worried that if their exams are not cancelled, they would be at a disadvantage.
Ramesh S., a second PU student, said, “CBSE and ISC students will get scores and grades based on their internal assessment, and their schools will grade them liberally. Why should only PU students write a board based exam and compete with central boards students who won’t have to do this?”
Rishikesh B.S., Associate Professor, Azim Premji University hailed the decision of both national boards as ‘progressive’. “Examinations should not be held to test the performance of students under stress. It should be held in the most child-friendly environment. This will hopefully help different boards to reform their assessment methods and not rely only on the board examination marks,” he said.
Political parties like the Congress are also leaning heavily on the Karnataka government to cancel the board exams. Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President D.K. Shivakumar tweeted: “I urge the Karnataka government to follow the Centre, and cancel both SSLC and II PUC exams.”