Class 10 and 12 CBSE and ICSE students have filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court of India. The petition demands the organization of Board exams in the hybrid mode.
Read further for details.
Petition filed for Hybrid Mode Exams
Students from two major educational boards of the country- the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) have moved to the apex court. The petitioning students oppose the use of purely offline mode for Class 10 and Class 12 Board exams. They instead want the inclusion of both online and offline components in the test method. Therefore, the plea is in favour of a hybrid mode of examination.
New Changes in the Academic Session Structure
The complete academic session 2021-22 now consists of two terms. CBSE and ICSE have dealt with the exam patterns for the two terms differently. For the former, exams of Term 1 will be based on almost 50% CBSE Syllabus. The following exams of Term 2 will be based on the remaining 50% CBSE syllabus.
The CISCE, which administers the ICSE Class 10th and ISC Class 12th yearly exams, will begin Term 1 exams on November 15. CBSE, on the other hand, will begin Term 1 exams on November 16 with minor subject tests.
Offline Exams and COVID-19 Infection
The petition has further raised concerns about the exam pattern and possible COVID-19 spread.
“In December 2021, key subject tests will be spread out over three weeks, putting petitioners’ minds at ease about the risk of infection and its impact on subsequent exams. The tests for key topics in December 2021 will be preceded by physical exams for minor subjects in November 2021, increasing the potential of turning the exams for major subjects into a Super Spreader Event”.
Six students brought the petition to the SC through Advocate Sumanth Nookala. According to the complaint, continued exposure to offline tests will “sharply” increase the dangers of COVID-19 infection. This would make the tests essentially a breach of the Right to Health.
“In any case, such continual exposure through offline tests dramatically raises the risk of infection to COVID-19, constituting the impugned action arbitrary and in breach of the Right to Health,” the plea stated.
A Tussle between Online and Offline
As per the petition, the ability to take assessments online will help with social alienation and reduce the burden on logistical constraints. The petitioners have also stated that obtaining students’ consent to conduct examinations without giving them a meaningful choice is unethical. They also stressed the importance of avoiding such an action. The petition also claims reports by students on the possible use of deception and coercion to get consent.