CBSE Grade 12 exams: UAE students exhausted due to indecision over boards

Nandini Sircar/Dubai
Filed on May 31, 2021

Indian government promises to clear the air by Thursday, as anxious pupils lose momentum to study.

Pupils, who are affiliated to India’s Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) schools in the UAE and are slated to appear for Grade XII examinations, are at wit's end because of the never-ending uncertainty about their fate amid the raging Covid-19 outbreak in South Asia’s most-populous nation and the government’s procrastination to find a lasting solution.

The uncertainty and anxiousness further aggravated on Monday (May 31) when the Indian government told the apex court, the Supreme Court of India (SCI), to give them two more days, or until Thursday (June 3) to decide about the fate of Grade XII examinations: whether they will be held at a later date or stand cancelled owing to a second and lethal wave of the contagion that has overwhelmed the country’s broken health care system.

Khaleej Times has learnt that the Indian government has made a similar plea about the fate of Grade XII pupils, who follow the syllabi of Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE).

The plea, filed by SCI Advocate Mamta Sharma, asked the Indian government to direct the educational boards to cancel their Grade XII examinations because of the pandemic woes.

In the UAE, CBSE Grade XII candidates, who eagerly awaited the board’s formal decision on Tuesday (June 1), are now left with no option, but to wait till Thursday to get a sense of their fate amid the growing uncertainty.

Neswin Soncy, a Grade XII pupil of Delhi Private School (DPS), Sharjah, said, “There’s a lot of uncertainty and we’ve lost the momentum to study. The future looks unclear. My family members and I were slated to travel to India between June 12 and 15 to visit our grandparents. The plan stands cancelled because of the suspension of flights between India and the UAE. Besides, no fresh plans can be made until the CBSE announces the dates for the examinations.”

The decision to conduct the CBSE Grade XII examinations was taken earlier in May during a high-level virtual meeting, chaired by India’s Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, in the presence of the country’s Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal.

But hashtags such as #CancelBoardExams and #ModijiSave12thStudents have continued to trend on social media, fuelled by apprehensive students, parents and educators who are concerned about exposing themselves to contracting SARS-COV-2, which causes Covid-19, while writing the examinations.

Thomas Sam, a Sharjah-based parent of a Grade XII candidate, said, “I see my son studying all the time and I feel this has been going on forever now. On Monday, he took an online engineering entrance examination for the Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) in Tamil Nadu, India. But all plans are still up in the air. There’s no closure. I remember after my Grade XII examinations I enjoyed myself so much before joining university. But Grade XII candidates this year are perpetually on the edge. They can’t seem to enjoy their downtime. The Indian government needs to take a firm decision. So, Grade XII candidates can decide about their college admissions and also the future course of action.”

All stakeholders appeal that just as CBSE has taken the non-examination route to assess the Grade X candidates, they hope that the board will consider all the suggestions received and deliver a pragmatic solution about the Grade XII aspirants.

The sibling of a UAE-based Grade XII candidate, Olivia Mathew, said, “The postponement of the announcement date for the CBSE Grade XII examinations feels like a never-ending loop. My brother’s one set of school examinations gets over and then I see him preparing for the next one. The candidates don’t even know the marks of which examinations will be tabulated for the final assessment. So, they have to take each examination as seriously as the other because of an utter lack of priority. It’s difficult to keep pace with the goings-on and most of which is beyond a candidate’s control. Schools are also stringent in their internal marking, as compared to the boards. My brother is exhausted because of continuous studying for the upcoming board examinations apart from preparing for entrance tests of other competitive examinations.”

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