Cancelling Class X, XII examsTask before BOSEM, COHSEM

Not surprising that the BJP led Government at Imphal has decided to do away with the Class X or HSLC and Class XII or HSSLC exams this year given the current situation. In between, the Class XI examinations conducted by the Council of Higher Secondary Education, Manipur (COHSEM) too has been cancelled. Toeing the line of the Centre, for remember the Prime Minister himself announced the cancellation of the Class XII CBSE examinations some time back and earlier the Class X CBSE exams. The Council of Indian School Certificate Examinations too had followed soon to announce the same. Other State boards too had announced the cancellation of the Class X and Class XII exams this year. Extraordinary times certainly call for extraordinary measures and to be sure this is a global pandemic that the world is dealing with right now and the cancellation of the two examinations should not come as too big a surprise to anyone. The only thing to wonder is why it has taken this long for the Government here to come to a definite decision ! The CBSE has been asked to work out the modalities on how to grade the students and last heard the Central board had notified that the criteria for grading the students will be announced by June 17. One just hopes that the CBSE affiliated schools in Manipur are primed to assess the students as per the criteria laid down by the Board and this is of utmost importance. The task ahead will be tough for the teachers and the schools, no doubt for this is the first time that students will have to be graded without sitting in the examination hall for three hours but this is the need of the time. This is about the CBSE affiliated schools in Manipur and how fairly the students are graded will go a long way in defining the character and quality of each school.
While one trust the Board to come out with yardsticks which may not be found wanting, one wonders how the same will be effected by the Council of Higher Secondary Education and Board of Secondary Education, Manipur which conduct the Class XII and Class X exams here. Will the numerous Government schools be able to accurately or even come close to accurately assessing the year long performance of the students while grading them in Class XII or Class X ? This is where private schools may be better placed to assess and map the performance of the students better, given that most of such schools have their own internal assessment criteria while preparing the students for the board exams. Performance/attendance of students during the online classes held in the face of the school closure during the pandemic will definitely come in handy, but how about students from far flung areas, especially from the hill districts where net connectivity is nothing much to write home about ? More importantly how many of the Government schools faithfully conducted the online classes ? All questions at the moment, but the responsibility ahead is tremendous and one hopes this sets a trend to give a new definition to the understanding of education in schools and colleges and not understand it merely by letting the young students sit for three hours in the examination hall and mark them as per their answers.