hybrid mode examinations

Class X, XII students file petition in SC; seek hybrid mode for board examinations

Exams Schools Students

Six students of Class X and Class XII have filed a Writ Petition before the Supreme Court seeking the Court’s direction to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the Council for Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) to hold the Class X and Class XII board examinations in hybrid mode, i.e., both offline and online.

The Central Board of Secondary Education has announced that it will hold the first term of the Board examinations for Classes X and XII for 2021-22 in offline mode from 16th November, 2021 to 22nd December, 2021. The CISCE had originally announced that it would hold the Term 1 exam in online mode only. However, it later announced that due to requests from students who were concerned about online exams due to  non-availability of devices, irregular power supply and network and bandwidth problems, the CISCE would be holding only offline examinations from 22nd November, 2021 to 20th December 2021.

The petition has sought quashing of the following two circulars:

  1. CBSE Circular dated 14.10.2021 in so far as the schedule for Term 1 Exams for Class X and XII students of was to be conducted in Offline mode alone (Read here)
  2. CISCE Circular dated 22.10.2021 in so far as the schedule for Semester 1 Exams for ISC and ICSE was revised to be conducted in Offline mode alone (read here).

The students, in their petition, argue that the Covid situation at present is mid-way and therefore requires a blended approach, and such an approach should be preferred given that most students appearing for the examination are not yet vaccinated. It is further argued that the consent of the students or their parents as not been taken for conducting the exams offline.

The petition further argues that practicals and pre boards are being conducted in schools offline as of today, and given the close proximity to the festive season, the risk of Covid infections is higher. Given that attending physical school is still optional, it is not reasonable to not give the same option for exams, it has further been argued. For these reasons, the petition seeks that a direction be issued to CBSE and CISCE to conduct the board examinations in hybrid mode.

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