“Education is the most powerful weapon by which you can change the world.” We all are aware of the fact that the Pandemic has affected students and the education system so badly. The whole system of learning has transformed from a Physical mode to a fully online one. From teachers to students and their parents, everyone has to update themselves with the new technologies and devices. This phase has been a tough one for many parents and teachers. They were not aware of the latest mobile functions and were not used to this online working mode. The Pandemic has impacted lakhs of students, especially Class XII students, who were about to appear for their Board Exams in 2021. Students of classes other than XII were aware that whether they will attend the online classes or not, the government will find a way to promote them. It was because the government is not willing to put pressure on those students. The main focus was on the classes having Board Exams this year. In addition to the online classes and unpredictable changes or traumas, board exam results have put an additional pressure on students. Well, it was directly on the students of Class XII. The evaluation of Class X students will be based on Assignments and Project Works as earlier declared by CBSE. Several factors have contributed towards increasing this pressure and stress on Class XII students. Finally, after long discussions and repeated meetings, CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) has declared the results. But the main concern here is that, Was the criterion fair? But, let’s first have an insight into what was the Evaluation Criterion?
After spending months discussing whether to conduct exams or not. CBSE finally decided not to conduct the board exams for Class XII. Now, the problem arises that if not exams then, how will the evaluation process take place? For this, CBSE has introduced a new Criteria of Evaluation. It was for students of Class XII who are about to appear for the board exams in 2021. Now, as per the NEW CRITERIA FOR EVALUATION 2021, the marks distribution was:
● 30% from CLASS X RESULTS
● 30% from CLASS XI RESULTS
● 40% from CLASS XII PRE-BOARD RESULTS This makes up the total 100%, out of which CBSE has to provide marks to the students.
Let’s talk about how fair the criterion was? So, I would say for me, it was 45% fair and 55% unfair. Now, firstly, I will tell you about the situations where I am finding this criteria fair:
1. Since it was the time of the Pandemic and there seems no option other than canceling the exams. No one wants to put students’ life in danger just for the sake of exams, no matter how important they are. Life is more important than anything else. And here, it seems legit to opt for such an Evaluation scheme where students need not visit their schools even at once.
2. Now, since the whole year was online and it was almost impossible for teachers to pay attention to every student, keep a record of whether they are getting the concepts or not, even whether students are attending the classes or not? It was very tough to understand all the concepts online and study everything online for students also. So, there has to be an Evaluation Criteria which does justice to the students. It will be useless to give marks to students based on a year that they have spent without going to school and when teaching was all online. At the same time, we should not forget that many of the students lost their parents or a loved one in the family in that period. The Situation was not good at that time and CBSE cannot put more pressure on students by declaring such a scheme which can be troublesome for students. So, distributing the marks and taking them from the results of classes when things were good enough seems to be justified for everyone.
3. One should not forget that evaluating these students based on their Assignments and Project works was not legit. It can be a disadvantage for them in the coming future. People will tag them as the batch where students passed without much effort. So, to save the dignity of those students, CBSE has opted for a Good and Legit Scheme.
Now, talking about the situation where I am finding this criterion to be Unfair:
1. The first thing is that CBSE and the concerned ministry took a very long time to decide whether they should conduct the exams or not. And, if not, then what would be the criterion? This has increased the stress and anxiety among students of Class XII and they have to wait for so long. As per my opinion, CBSE has a lot of intellectual and technical people. Instead of wasting time in discussions and meetings, CBSE can opt for a better option to conduct exams online.
2. This criterion would be disadvantageous for laborious students. They were working so hard to improve their performance from the previous classes and as stated in this criteria marks of previous class results will also be added. So, if a student hasn’t performed well in Class X or Class XI, this can go against them. And, by doing so, CBSE and the Pandemic have indirectly taken a chance of Self Improvement from students.
3. Also, all these circumstances have affected the Morale of students badly. They didn’t ask for the cancellation of their board exams. But still, they have to suffer just because they are not going to appear for their exams in Physical mode. People on social media were spreading jokes and comments on those students and telling them that they are not worthy enough to get a job in the future.
4. Students targeting competitive entrance exams like JEE, NEET, etc. are also getting affected by it. If they didn’t get good marks in their previous classes then, it will affect their marks in Class XII and this will affect them as these exams have a minimum criterion of marks. Without passing the Eligibility criteria, students cannot appear for these competitive entrance exams. And, this can be a huge loss for them.
5. There was no criteria or scheme for those students who have applied for the IMPROVEMENT as they didn’t get satisfactory results the previous year. Can you think about those students? No, we can’t even imagine their situation. They were waiting and had wasted a year. Now, they have to get admission to colleges at any cost. But there was no clause for such students in this criterion. So, they have to wait.
We should not forget that it’s not happening when situations around are perfectly okay. People are going through a rough phase in their personal as well as in their professional life. Things are getting worse day by day. People are dying and Corona is getting dangerous. All this stress and mess can affect the students and their mental health so badly.
The Pandemic, Board Exam Results, and the CBSE have contributed to a stressful situation for the students. However, this is just a phase where everyone has to fight for their survival. But, CBSE has to rethink and re-evaluate this criterion once again for this year. They should avoid the same mistake in 2022. However, the Evaluation Criteria followed by CBSE in 2021 needs some amendments. As this will affect students and their careers in the future. They will have to come up with it. Well, I will not say that marks don’t matter. They matter a lot at some places. So, one should not take it lightly. Neither by the Board nor by the students.