State boards can come up with own Class 12 assessment schemes: Supreme Court

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State boards can come up with own Class 12 assessment schemes: Supreme Court

New Delhi :The Supreme Court on Thursday said that state boards are free to have their own assessment scheme for Class 12 students but has insisted that it be notified within 10 days and results should be announced by July 31.The order was passed by a bench of justices AM Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari on a public interest litigation filed by a group of parents led by AnubhaShrivastavaSahai. The petition demanded cancellation of all state board examinations and a uniform assessment scheme for Class 12 students across the country.

Haryana state board opposed the idea of a uniform assessment scheme and sought a clarification. Assam informed that the assessment scheme is under preparation.

The bench said, “We make it clear that each board may formulate its own scheme. We direct the boards to formulate and notify the scheme not later than 10 days from today and declare results by July 31, which is the timeline specified for the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and Council for Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE).”The decision by the court is set to be benefit over 10 million Class 12 students across various state boards. In all, 21 state boards cancelled the Class 12 examinations this year in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Six state boards had already conducted the examination in March-April this year.The only exception was the state board of Andhra Pradesh, which informed the Supreme Court on Wednesday that it will be holding Class 12 examinations by July-end. The state government indicated in its affidavit that it was confident to hold Class 12 examinations for over 519,000 students by putting in place all safety protocols. But the bench pointed out many gaps in the state’s preparedness. “Going by your affidavit, the state would need 34,634 classrooms to accommodate 15 students per room. These rooms have to be ventilated. Do you have so many rooms? Merely stating that we want to hold examination is not enough. All logistics have to be arranged with regard to invigilators and support staff. You have to take responsibility of students, staff and frontline workers,” the bench said.“It is not a question of holding an examination alone but about the health and safety of every individual. No state board has willingly cancelled the examination...In the second wave, everything was over in 10 days. If it happens again, are you ready to risk the life of students?” it asked.

Terming the situation uncertain, particularly with experts warning of a third wave, the bench said, “We don’t know what will happen in July. If you hold examinations, when will you announce results? If you are unable to hold them, is there a contingency plan?” The state agreed to answer to all these questions by Friday, when the bench will again hear the matter.