Indian High School Dubai
The Supreme Court of India’s approval to the objective scheme for grade evaluation will clear the way for the declaration of results by July 31. Exam results for CISCE Grade 12 are expected by July 20. Picture for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: The evaluation criteria of India’s Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) Grade 12 results released on Thursday, June 17, following the cancellation of final examinations amid COVID-19 have elicited a huge response from school principals and students in the UAE.

The CBSE had submitted its evaluation criteria for Class 12 results to the Supreme Court of India earlier in the day.

The new evaluation criteria will take into account the performance of the students through Grades 10, 11 and 12.

The Supreme Court of India’s approval to the objective scheme for grade evaluation will clear the way for the declaration of results by July 31. Exam results for CISCE Grade 12 are expected by July 20.

Aggrieved students who had found discrepancies in earlier assessment criteria had filed a petition demanding an explanation of the evaluation criteria, a timeline for the results, as well as the choice of holding optional exams.

The representatives for the board said that in the absence of a final exam result, they have decided to not only rely on the student’s performance in Grade 10 and 11 but also take into consideration the performance throughout Grade 12.

The lawyers for CBSE and CISCE told the Supreme Court that the Class 12 results will be decided on the basis of performance in Class 10 (30 per cent weightage), Class 11 (30 per cent weightage) and Class 12 (40 per cent weightage).

The SC bench that heard the petition comprised Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari. The bench said, “After perusing the scheme we have no reservation to accept the same and permit the Boards to proceed on that basis.”

Attorney General of India K.K. Venugopal appeared for the Centre.

UAE school heads respond

Punit Vasu

Punit Vasu, CEO of Indian High School Group, told Gulf News he was relieved with the Supreme Court approval. “We welcome this clear evaluation criteria as it takes into account the internal performance of the school as well as the historical performance, besides the consistent performance of the individual student through Grades 10. 11 and 12. So there is equity and parity.

"This decision has brought much relief to parents and students.”

Rashmi Nandkeoleyar, principal and director of Delhi Private School, Dubai, said: “It is such a relief to finally get a solution to the issue.

Rashmi Nandkeoleyar

"Although we have a month to compute the results and it will take us a while to wrap our heads around the criteria, I think the decision to include the performance of all three years is not only student friendly, it is also fair as students who have been consistent and sincere have an advantage while those who believe in quickening their pace only in the last lap are at a disadvantage.”

Vandana Marwaha, principal and director of Delhi Private School, Sharjah, said: “While we had very clear guidelines on Grade 10 evaluation, CBSE has to still provide clear guidelines on the standardised and historical performance criteria of the school. Any confusion in interpreting the guidelines will affect the credibility of the exam evaluation.”

Student and faculty speak

Sakshi Dhariwal

Sakshi Dhariwal, 18, a Grade 12 DPS Sharjah student, said: “I feel that this evaluation criteria is well distributed. Because of the underlying situation in India, many schools weren’t able to conduct pre-board examinations. In such a scenario considering the results of Grade 11 and 10 would be quite fair. Even in the 60 per cent distribution being considered for grade 10 and 11, there is equal division so I feel that’s upright for students in India and abroad. Moreover, students who are not satisfied can appear again when CBSE conducts Class 12 board exams.”

Aditya Nayak

Aditya Nayak, 17, a Grade 12 JSS private school student, said: “It is good that the Grade 10 and 12 components are being considered. But I am not sure about the Grade 11 component being considered. It is intermediate between the two boards.

"In Grade 11, many students don’t take studies as seriously as Grade 10 and 12, including myself.”

Priyanka Paleri, 17, Grade 12, from Our Own English High School, said: “Personally, I was relieved that they did not put 100 per cent weightage on Grade 12 results because I did better in 10th and 11th grades.

Priyanka Paleri

"I was counting on boards to make up for my performance this year, so with that cancelled, I am happy.”

Meghna Khan, head coach, MK Counselling, said: “This is a great decision taken by CBSE and gives a definitive edge to students who have been consistent in their performance throughout.

Meghna Khan

"However, students who might have planned to put all their effort in Class 12 finals while taking their Class 10 and 11th exams lightly may feel the pinch of this new approach.

"These are extraordinary times and it has been specially hard for students from last year onwards.”

Alka Malik, managing director, Ascentria-PACE training institute in Dubai for JEE, NEET and Grade 9-12 STEM courses, said: “The Board has been extremely fair to students by considering what is generally students’ best academic performance across three years.

Alka Malik

"By excluding results of any online assessments across Grade 12, they also ensured that anyone employing unethical practices was not advantaged.”

New evaluation criteria in detail

Sanjeev Jolly, executive principal, Our Own High School — Al Warqa’a, and Chairman, Gulf Sahodaya (CBSE schools in the Gulf), explained how the new evaluation criteria will pan out for students.

Sanjeev Jolly

He said, “Students in Grade 12 appear for five subjects, and each subject may or may not have a practical component. Depending upon this, the impact on the subject score coming totally from Grade 12 efforts and assessments will now vary.”

The system proposed by CBSE works as follows:

In general, CBSE has proposed that Grade 10 and Grade 11 marks obtained by students should have an impact on their Grade 12 outcomes this year. Students that completed Grade 10 and Grade 11 must contribute an impact of 30 per cent each, with Grade 12 marks to contribute only 40 per cent of the final outcome for any subject. This means that irrespective of the efforts put in by a child in Grade 12, their performance in the previous two years will contribute a 60 per cent impact on their Grade 12 marks. This system is proposed for subjects that have no practical components in Grade 12 and which have 100 per cent of their assessment in the form of a theory paper.

However, a lot of subjects in Grade 12 have a practical component of 30 per cent with the remaining 70 per cent being theory papers. For these, the impact on Grade 12 marks will vary, even when the above general formula proposed by CBSE is applied.

* If a subject in Grade 12 is 20 per cent practical and 80 per cent theory, 52 per cent of marks will come from Grade 12 and 48 per cent from Grades 10 and 11 (24 per cent per Grade).

* If a subject in Grade 12 is 30 per cent practical and 70 per cent theory, 58 per cent of marks will come from Grade 12 and 42 per cent from Grades 10 and 11 (21 per cent Grade).

* If a subject in Grade 12 is 40 per cent practical and 60 per cent theory, 64 per cent of marks will come from Grade 12 and 36 per cent from Grades 10 and 11 (18 per cent per Grade).

* If a subject in Grade 12 is 50 per cent practical and 50 per cent theory, 70 per cent of marks will come from Grade 12 and 30 per cent from Grades 10 and 11 (15 per cent per Grade).

* If a subject in Grade 12 is 70 per cent practical and 30 per cent theory, 82 per cent of marks will come from Grade 12 and 18 per cent from Grades 10 and 11 (9 per cent per Grade).

“All the above formulas proposed by CBSE for a Grade 12 student will take into account their performance in Grades 10 and 11. However, in the event that a subject did not exist in Grade 10, then CBSE has proposed an alternative system,” he said.

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“Regarding the preparation of the assessment, we cannot do so until we receive a clear mandate from CBSE in writing. However, we have our Grade 12 assessment data, which can be used as and when required in the manner in which CBSE requests. We are therefore waiting for final instructions. We are still waiting to hear on this from CBSE officially regarding the final assessment submission. and we also need to wait for CBSE’s guidelines on when students get their marks, but I imagine the date will be around August 3 or 4,” he said.

He said, “A lot of time will be needed to coordinate and compile the data once we receive the notification from CBSE. Much work and time will go into this process, and for the Gulf, schools will soon be on holiday from July 2. School principals, senior leaders and teachers will have to give up part of their holiday to complete all the work. This is unfortunate, because after what has been a challenging period for educators, everyone was looking forward to a relaxing summer, which now looks less likely.”