Bombay HC asks CISCE to present methodology for alternate assessment for pending Class 10, 12 exams

Written by Omkar Gokhale
| Mumbai |

Published: June 17, 2020 4:41:44 pm

Advocate Arvind Raghunath Tiwari, the parent of an ICSE student, had sought a court direction to the authorities to cancel the rescheduled exams in view of the pandemic. File Photo

After hearing concerns raised by parents and students, the Bombay High Court on Wednesday asked Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) to place before it exact methodology for alternate grading of students for remaining exams of Class 10 and 12 based on internal assessment, so that they can make an informed decision whether or not to appear for physical examination in July.

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice SS Shinde heard through video conference, a plea by advocate Arvind Raghunath Tiwari, also the parent of an ICSE student, who had sought a court direction to the authorities to cancel the rescheduled exams in view of the pandemic and declare results on the basis of past performance in the papers for which exams have not been held yet.

Last month, CISCE said it will conduct the remaining exams starting July 1. In a statement, the board said class 10 exams will be held from July 2 to July 12 and class 12 exams from July 1 to July 14.

Developments at a glance | CISCE Class 10, 12 students can opt out of pending exams | CISCE to Bombay HC: Students may take exams or be graded on past scores  | Can prevent holding of CISCE board exams in July if necessary

Responding to the plea, the CISCE on June 15 had said it will not force students to appear for the remaining exams for class 10 and 12 in July and that it had decided to offer students two options — they can appear for the remaining papers as per the revised schedule or they could opt-out, in which case final results will be based on their performance in internal assessment or pre-board exams.

The council had also said that schools will be required to ascertain options selected by the students and intimate the board before June 22 and it would soon come up with the methodology.

The council on Wednesday said that schools would be asked to extend the time for parents and students to decide on whether they want to appear for physical examination and would submit the detailed methodology before the Court by Monday, when the submissions on the same will be heard.

On Wednesday, Tiwari and other intervenors including parents stressed on the need for fair and transparent options to be given to the students stating there was no clarity in council’s decision. The petitioners sought to stay the decision and said that to avoid confusion on evaluating marks as per past scores, the exact methodology should be conveyed before making any decision and that students should not be forced to choose for physical examination with fear of losing out on marks.

Moreover, the Maharashtra government informed the HC that it has the power, and authority to regulate and, if necessary, completely prevent the holding of CISCE board exams of pending papers of class 10 and 12 in view of Covid-19 pandemic. Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni said that depending on how many students opt to actually appear for the physical exams, it will be able to take a final decision.

Asking the Council to present its exact methodology on alternate assessment to enable students and parents to make informed decision, the Court posted further hearing on June 22.

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