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Offline Board exams: Students from 15 states urge Supreme Court for alternative assessment method

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A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court by students from over 15 states across the country, seeking an alternative assessment method for the board examination of classes 10 and 12, instead of holding physical exam, as proposed by various State boards, the Central Bureau of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE).

The petition, filed through Child rights activist Anubha Shrivastava Sahai and the Students Union of Odisha, has also prayed for directions to all boards for declaration of results on time and an option for improvement in exam due to various challenges being faced by them.

The petitioners pointed out that for CBSE, the board exams for classes 10 and 12 will be held in the last week of April.

For ICSE and the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS), there is no notification yet, they added.

Regarding the State Boards, the plea mentioned that while some State Borads have declared the timetable, others were still holding discussion on the course of action.

“The students are dissatisfied by this kind of behaviour of State government and other boards and stressed and worried about their future and career,” the plea said.

The plea highlighted the Covid-19 situation and the difficulties and pressure faced by students due to the interruption in their schooling.

“The petitioners therefore submit that, in fact subjecting the children to write the examination and conducting the examination when the Covid-19 wave is still high, with the number of patients infected and death is rising day by day, when there are seen unprecedented mortality numbers, when the experts are predicting that third wave of resurgence likely to mostly affect children and young people, it will be violating their right to life,” the petition stated.

While education is important it is not more important than the lives and mental health of children, teachers, staff and parents of the children who will have to venture out to appear for physical exam, the plea added.

The plea apart from seeking a direction not to hold exam via physical mode, also prayed for a direction to the University Grants Commission (UGC) to constitute a committee to declare the date for admission into various Universities and work out a formula for assessment of Class XII students, who want to pursue their further studies in non-professional courses.

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