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Covid-19 in UAE: Assessment, varsity admission worry Grade 12 CBSE students

Saman Haziq, Dhanusha Gokulan/Dubai
Filed on April 3, 2020 | Last updated on April 3, 2020 at 01.34 am
cbse exams, india, coronavirus, uae distance learning, education in uae, schools in uae


Board had earlier postponed all the board examinations.

Following the decision of India's Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to cancel all pending examinations for affiliated schools outside India, students who attempted the board exams in the UAE are concerned of their future.

The board had earlier postponed all the board examinations that were to be held between March 19 and 31 this year. Though the board has announced the system of marking and assessment "will be worked out shortly" and informed the schools concerned, students who plan to study abroad are deeply concerned.

Khaleej Times reached out to several students who attempted the Grade 12 exams this year and many have also said they are worried about their grades as in some cases their internal marks were not high enough to raise the overall average. Students said it has left them with more questions than answers.

The board's Grade 10 students weren't impacted as much as Grade 12 students as only one paper - IT - was pending for them. However, for 12th graders, a few more papers, including computer science, business studies, business administration, sociology and home science did not take place.

Internal assessment will lower overall marks

"While I wholeheartedly stand by this decision, the anxiety due to the uncertainty regarding marking still remains. Preparing for boards has been a strenuous task in itself, and almost every student looks forward to giving their absolute best in the final exams. The possibility of being evaluated based on previous examinations is hence dreaded by many," science student Harshitha Durai Babu said.

"This situation will also be unfair to students who have worked so hard to redeem themselves in the exam. This exam would help increase our percentage but with no clarity on how we're going to get graded for this subject, the situation seems unfair but given the circumstances we understand," said Suvrata Gupta.

"Moreover, our papers are usually harder and if they use aggregate, our overall percentage would really come down which is a matter of great concern for many students as these marks are extremely important for university admissions," she added.

What about university admissions?

Furthermore, the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic in India has also led to the postponement of Joint Entrance Exam (JEE), a national level exam for Engineering. The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), another national level exam for medical (MBBS and BDS) studies, has also been postponed, making matters tricky for students who want to pursue these field of studies in India.

Shivikha Shivananda, a commerce student from Dubai, said: "Although this decision has been taken in the wake of the current situation, it has raised a lot of concerns for students studying abroad as their university offers and acceptances depends upon their final grades. This has left a lot of uncertainty and worry among the students, who are now scrambling to communicate with the universities to reach an agreement."

Jagruti Dialani, a student of the Indian High School, Dubai, said: "This can potentially change our path to selecting our university. Ideally, we should not be graded on the basis of our school examinations as they're pretty hard and the corrections are rigid too, due to which our result can be drastically affected."

"The uncertainty in how we will be graded is great. Will it be based on the scores we got in school? This is extremely unfair, especially considering many people look to the board exams to redeem themselves. Will it be based on the number of subjects we were able to write? What about our university admissions?" asked Sakshi Koul, a science stream student.

"I'm a computer science student at GEMS New Millennium School, and I'm one of those many students who're affected by the decision taken by the CBSE to cancel the examination. Since computer science is a scoring subject, I was looking forward to attempting it, so that my overall aggregate would be increased. Most of us have got admission based on our predicted scores and colleges want us to meet these conditions in order to secure the admission," said Ameesha Gireesh.

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