The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented. It has disrupted society in several ways. Quite understandably, educational processes in schools, have been deeply impacted. Given the current circumstances, CBSE has not found it possible to conduct the Senior School Certificate Examination for 2021 as generally conducted at the end of Class-XII. The examination has been cancelled Vide Notification No. CBSE/CE/EXAM.2021/ dated 01/06/2021.
While committed to the health, safety and future of the lakhs of students, CBSE fully appreciates the need for School Leaving Certification for students and its importance in facilitating their pursuit of higher education.
Challenge Before CBSE & Objective of the Policy
For exams to be fair to all students, they should be standardized —factors such as the content and format of the examination papers and tasks, the administration conditions, access to resources and any supporting materials, and analysis of results should be the same (or equivalent) for all students.
Declaration of valid, reliable, fair and unbiased results to students in the pandemic situation is a formidably challenging task. Results calculated with the help of any approximation method would not be exastly at par with the results compiled on the basis of an actual examination. However, the assesment policy will have to meet the standards of being unbiased, reliable, fair, valid and transparent to all its students. The assessment policy also needs to be procedurally robust and based on adequate credible and reliable information of thc students’ performance, to enable arriving at objective and precise conclusions about the performance of individual students.
Mode of Assesment
Assessment of theory examinations.
- As per the information available, schools have conducted diXerent types and number of tests/exams for class XII for the session 2020-2021 Due to schools closures caused by COVID pandemic, most of the classes and exams/tests were conducted online by the schools. Some schools were also successful in conducting in-person examinations usually done as preperatory tests for Board examinations, depending upon the local prevailing conditions and the relaxations available to the schools.
- Broadly, either all or some of the Unit tests/Mid-Term Exams/ Pre-Board Examinations have been conducted by the schools, and most of these have been in the online mode.
- For some students academic transactions, including assessment, were adversely affected, due to non-availability of devices and connectivity.
Element 1: Class XII
- The first element in the assessment of for class XII are the results of Unit tests/Mid- Term Exams/ Pre-Board Examinations conducted by schools. Due to the nature of the online examinations from homes, and differential access to digital infrastructure. solely relying on these scores is not prudent for two reasons:
- First, the results of online examinations held this year may not truly reflect the performance of students as these were not in similiar settings for all, and because of differential access to digital infrastructure.
- Second, these examinations not being Board examinations conducted by CBSE, will not meet the goal of standardized assessment and may also reflect subjectivity inherent in school-based assessments. The latter aspect though will be addressed by the moderation to be applied to the school- based assessments.
- To address these two concerns, the class XII school-based assessments need to be supplemented by standardized examinations conducted in pre-Covid time. To obtain a holistic, fair, precise and unbiased assessment of the students, additional information of the performance by the same student will help in obtaining results which are more accurate.
Element 2: Class X
- Class X Board examinations held for the current cohort of class XII students fit the requirement. The results of these examinations may be treated as a measure of students’ ability. This was the only public examination conducted by the Board for actual year-end assessment, when conditions were normal and the examinations were conducted in a regular standardized manner without any deviation from the scheme announced by the Board at the start of the academic session.
- However, it is likely that a student may not have been equally interested in all subjects in class X and may have underperformed in a few subjects. Since, the students did not know at the time of taking class X Board examinations that those marks will count towards the all-important class XII results, some of the shortcomings can be overcome by using the scores obtained in theory exams average of best three (03) subjects out of main 5 subjects for the purpose of calculating the marks, to give benefit to the students of omitting the scores of the subjects in which they underperformed due to any reasons.
- Two additional concerns remain with inclusion of class X Board results.
- First, that the students’ ability may have evolved since when the class X Board exams were held
- Second, the best 3 subjects in class X Board may not coincide with the subjects being taught and assessed in class XII
Element 3: Class XI
- It is therefore advisable to include class XI results as well in the overall assessment since they were held only a year ago, were based on the prescribed senior secondary syllabus and were conducted in settings that approximate standardized examinations
- The students of class XII have appeared in the class XI examinations conducted in the year 2019-2020 in an offline mode in the schools, by the time the lockdown was declared in March-2020. The examinations were conducted in a regular manner without any deviation from the scheme decided by the Board well in advance at the start of the academic session. Unlike class X, the examination in class XI is based on the senior secondary syllabus and gives a good indication of students’ capabilities in their preferred subjects. The examinations were conducted for full duration in examination halls under proper supervision. As a result, this exam has high reliability in terms of fair assessment of students’ performance.
- Issues have been brought to the notice of the Board regarding overall less award of absolute marks in class XI to students due to stringent marking. This should not be a matter of concern, as this aspect will be taken care by the moderation policy to be applied.
- The performance of a student in Class-XI, assessed in a credible manner thus provides an unbiased measure of the upcoming performance of the student in Class-XII.
- In some cases, it is possible that students might not have applied themselves fully to the class XI exams. However, this will be addressed to an extent by taking into consideration class X marks along with class XI marks.
In sum, the assessment of class XII should be a composite measure that reflects the students’ performance in: school-based performance in class XII and class XI exams and results of the performance in best three subjects out of main 5 subjects in class-X Board exams, duly moderated as per the policy.
Assessment of practical /internal examinations
The schools have completed or are in the process of completion of their practical/ internal assessments as per scheme of assessment of the Board, these marks will be incorporated as such in the final results for each subject.
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Source : CBSE