COVID Coverage: Board Exams – June 21st
Senior Advocate Vikas Singh made certain suggestions with reference to the proposed evaluation scheme of CBSE and ICSE.
Suggestions and Objections to Evaluation Schemes
Sr. Advocate Vikas Singh, appearing on behalf of the intervenor, made the following suggestions in relation to the schemes proposed by the CBSE and ICSE.
Students should be required to make the decision to opt-in to appear for the optional exams at the beginning, before the results from internal assessment aggregation are released. This would avoid the confusion caused by the official release of two sets of results. The Court took note of this suggestion, and directed both Board Councils to consider it.
Physical board examinations should not be cancelled in the first instance. He pointed out to the Court that many writ petitions pending admission have been filed challenging the decision of the Boards to cancel examinations. The Court directed Mr. Singh to submit these writ petitions to the Court within an hour, and listed them to be heard by the Court on the next date (June 22nd 2020). It reiterated that it agreed with the CBSE’s submissions on the question of cancelling physical examinations.
Mr. Singh argued that there was disparity between the schemes proposed by the CBSE and ICSE. He also pointed out that the CBSE scheme allowed schools to finalize marks data, leaving scope for manipulation, while the ICSE scheme did not. The Court pointed out that both boards operate in different manners, and to compare them would be akin to comparing apples with oranges. The Court directed the Boards to take note of these suggestions.
Mr. Singh argued that the policy of moderating marks of each student based on the past years’ performance of their school is unfair, for it does not account for the changes in student composition or new practices to improve performance employed by the school.
Mr. Abhishek Choudhary, appearing for private and second compartment CBSE students, argued that the scheme would disadvantage them. The CBSE scheme laid out a criteria for marking students based on their internal assessment marks. However, for students enrolled with the boards privately, or appearing for the examination a second time, no internal assessment grades can be used. So, the scheme stipulates that they will write the examinations when conducive, along with those writing optional examinations. Mr. Choudhary argued that in this situation, private and second compartment students will be denied equal opportunity in college admissions, as their marks would be released considerably later than that of other students. The Court suggested that college examinations may be delayed to accommodate this. The Court will hear the Boards and other parties on this issue before making a decision.