Students taking the CBSE board exams Image Credit: A.K Kallouche/Gulf News Archives

Dubai: Under exceptional circumstances due to the coronavirus pandemic, any remaining CBSE exams for Grades 10 and 12 in the UAE (and outside India) have been cancelled this year, CBSE said on Wednesday.

In a press release listing several “one-time” measures, CBSE, India’s biggest exam board, said: “There are several CBSE schools located in 25 countries [including the UAE]. Each of these countries are also under lockdown and/or have decided to close down the schools for various and differential lengths of time.

“Under such circumstances, it is felt that the Board will not be in a position to hold differential set of exams for each of these countries. Also, in the present situation, it will be difficult to bring the answer books to India for evaluation purposes. Therefore, the Board has decided to not hold any more exams for the students of class 10 and 12 schools located outside India.”

It added that the “system of marking/assessment for the purpose of declaring results will be worked out by the Board shortly and informed to these schools”.

Vandana Marwaha, principal and director of Delhi Private School Sharjah, said her understanding is that all scheduled class 10 exams under CBSE had been held before the initial announcement of postponing exams scheduled for March 19 to 31. She explained that for class 12, only one or two subject papers each for the science, commerce and humanities stream were pending. It means, in general, class 12 students have already sat four out of the five exams.

“Universities in India will accommodate this development but how will universities abroad, especially in the West, be seeing this?” Marwaha said.

Regarding the process of determining results now, she said: “Internally, as a school, we had the benefit of referring to exam results from the previous term, but in public board exams there is no reference. Luckily every student had taken four papers. Should CBSE use a ‘best of four’ instead of ‘best of five’ model this time?”

The aggregate marks of five papers is normally taken in the results declaration and all five subjects must be passed.

Marwaha added: “There has to be some consideration given and I’m sure the Indian government, the CBSE, is working towards it, so no child is at a disadvantage.”

Professor M. Abu Bakr, principal of Scholars Indian School in Ras Al Khaimah, said: “The CBSE will be communicating to the schools with regards to declaring the results and the process moving forward from here. We are awaiting further guidance from them about the system of assessment for the purpose of declaring results; it will be laid out by the Board.”

The unprecedented one-time measures include the promotion of classes 1 to 8 to the next class “in consultation with NCERT” (National Council of Educational Research and Training).

For schools that have not been able to complete their exams for class 9 and 11, “all such schools are advised to promote students of grades 9 and 11 to the next grades on the basis of all the school-based assessments including project work, periodic tests, term exams, etc. conducted so far”.

In India, with regard to the rescheduling of board exams for classes 10 and 12, “it is informed that at this stage it is difficult for the Board to decide and announce the new schedule for examinations”, however “it will give notice of about 10 days to all stakeholders before starting the Board examinations.”

Under these special measures, CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) will conduct exams for only main subjects that will be “required for promotion and maybe crucial for admissions in higher educational institutions”.

The CBSE urged all stakeholders not to be misled by rumours and “only trust the official announcements by the Board that are made on the Board’s website www.cbse.nic.in or its social media channels, such as @cbseindia29 on Twitter.