The question of evaluation of 12th class students
Like last year, due to the covid epidemic, the central government decided not to conduct CBSE board 12th class examinations this year too after the decision to not conduct the 10th examination was already taken. After the decision of the central government, many states have also decided not to conduct the 12th board examinations acknowledging full well that 10th and 12th examinations are milestones in our academic structure.
The 12th class examination is, in many ways, more important than the 10th, because students get admission in colleges and universities only on the basis of the marks obtained in this examination. There are some students who prepare for medical and engineering examinations while several others go abroad after passing the 12th examination. Since the examinations of some subjects were done before the outbreak of corona infection last year, there was some ease in preparing the result.
This time not a single subject exam has been conducted, so it will be difficult to prepare the result. This matter is also in the Supreme Court. On behalf of the CBSE board, the central government has asked to determine the method of evaluation of students soon and it remains to be seen whether the Supreme Court is satisfied with it or not.
No matter how CBSE and other state boards evaluate students, the fact that very little has been done in this academic session cannot be overlooked. Only a few schools could open for a short time and whatever the students studied, they did it online through Zoom and similar platforms. Due to online studies, students are kept away from the environment which they get when they go to school and the pandemic has confined us to take such decisions for the safety of students and teachers as well as administrators alike.
Earlier it seemed that the government was making up its mind to conduct the 12th examinations and many state governments were also in favor of it, but perhaps later it was found that no risk should be taken as the second wave of corona virus was not over yet. It is possible that by July-August, the atmosphere would have become favorable for examinations, but it was not guaranteed and it is not good to keep the students and parents in a dilemma for a long time.
There was also risk in conducting the examinations that a third wave of infections could be triggered at the same time and given that the scientific evidence that suggested that youngsters could be more vulnerable cannot be ignored. Of course, examinations have their own importance, but deliberate risk cannot be taken. If the governments come to the conclusion that the health of the students is more important than it is justified and no one can question it.
After the decision of not holding the 12th examinations, the Prime Minister spoke to the students and most of them upheld as well as justified this decision. Those students who are preparing for engineering or medical examination were happier. Those students who were looking to study in their favorite university or abroad by scoring more marks in 12th may be disappointed. At the moment it is difficult to say that how much importance will foreign universities give to the evaluation policy of 12th students?
Along with them, selected universities of the country can also adopt any typical system of assessment of students and in such a situation, students of reputed schools may remain in profit and meritorious students of general schools in loss, because there is a belief that students of reputed schools are good in studies. Be that as it may, with the cancellation of the 12th examination, the need to find an alternative to the examination has increased. Will the decades-old examination system be restored or will an alternative be found when the situation returns to normal? The question is also whether CBSE and others will be able to make such a rational and transparent evaluation system so soon, which proves to be a proper alternative to the old examination system?
Generally, the students who pass the 12th examination with good marks, they continue to get success even further. In the system so far, only the marks of the 12th examination determine the further education of the students. In a way, these numbers give direction to their future. Most of the students choose their career according to their studies. Undoubtedly, there are many students who do not score good marks in 12th and are counted as normal students in universities too, but later they become successful people and earn a name. After all, why the ability and skill of such students are not properly tested in the traditional examination? This is a question that remains a challenge for academics.
In adolescence, it is not an easy task to find out exactly the intelligence index of a student and his/her interest areas. The Modi government is rapidly implementing its new education policy which was formulated not knowing that the Corona crisis would take such a formidable form. Although the new education policy talks about recognizing intelligence, but now that the covid pandemic is rapidly changing everyday life with new challenges and the Supreme Court has to describe the method of evaluation within two weeks.
Although the new education policy says that the evaluation of students should not be done only by the marks obtained in the examination, but it has to be seen that what is the method of evaluation of students without examination and whether it is valid or not? Be that as it may, the nature of the examination should be such that instead of parroting the students, they recognize their potential. For this there should be regular formative assessment of the students. Such assessment has been emphasized in the new education policy. While implementing the new education policy, the states should make a meaningful effort to achieve its basic objective.
The writer is EX PEAS-1, retired principal, Malout Punjab
The writer is Former PES-1, Retired Principal, Government Girls Senior Secondary School Mandi Harji Ram Malout Punjab.