Expert’s view on ‘cancellation’ of class 12 Board exams by Centre

Vijaykumar Jayaram

Chennai: Education is now universal and can be divided into three broad components – knowledge, effective communication and format, says professor Vijaykumar Jayaram (VKJ).

Speaking to ‘News Today’, the management expert says, “Knowledge is power both in possession or while evolving, while format is the type of medium and its styles. It is the effective communication that plays a tricky part in knowledge assimilation, development and final value acceptance. Why tricky? Even the most experienced entities at times fail to see the repercussions of ineffective communication.”

“Let us take an example, the announcement – CBSE cancels the 12th board exams this year. Here are a list of repercussions, doubts and agony: From public – So like EPS, Modi has announced all are pass, what a cropper! When classes were not held, what is point in holding exams? What will be the future of these kids? The system is useless .. blah blah, and the lamenting goes on.”

“From parents – So how will they allocate final marks? This is not fair as my ward has picked up recently. My kid is brilliant what will happen to higher studies? Will their entry into professional courses be affected? Will my child’s grades be devalued while applying to foreign universities? .. this list of doubts and agony is endless considering our diverse population.”

“From Universities & Employers – How much do we need to tighten the entrance exams so we get the right quality of students into our campus? Will 2021 batch be strong on their fundamentals? Should we provide additional coaching? What will be the increase in budget to train this batch? Candidates from “Covid batch”? Put them in later lists.”

But, what has actually happened? He says, “Fact is there has been no compromise on the standards of quality in education. The world will assume that due to the pandemic we have compromised, unless we communicate effectively. All students and teachers this academic year 2020-21 have actually worked really hard, in fact more efforts have been put in by the teachers and students into adapting the inevitable blended learning.”

VKJ adds, “My contention is using the term ‘cancellation’ even when the internal assessment 20% to 40% marks on respective electives have been allocated in the same format as it was in the previous years. The balance award of marks/grades have been decentralised, now, where is the question of terming this judgment of CBSE or Modi as cancelled? There is only an innovative change in the format of evaluations. One can call the balance evaluations as autonomous from the respective school centers based on strict guidelines. Final approval of marks and the entire process of evaluations are being done right under the nose of CBSE. Only this time it is more digital than manual.”

“Earlier up to 2020, the exam relationship network was ‘one to many’. One, being CBSE board and the many being students. Now, this year 2021 the format is few to many where few refers to the respective schools spread across India and many refers to the 12,87,359 students graduating this year. Yes, graduating is the term used in Uncle Sam’s country even for kindergarten kids or even in a corporate training program. Google reports there are 21, 271 schools in India and about 220 schools in 28 foreign countries affiliated to CBSE. People are berating about Modi using the term one nation one policy, but do these mahanubhavas realise that the entire globe is moving towards one world one educational philosophy?”

“75 years ago an error happened when India skipped a permanent big 5 seat in the United Nations, now do these people want a similar thing to happen in the new world of education while recognising Indian educational boards and university campuses? Obviously nobody wants that to happen and nobody is that stupid or bad. And my point is lack of foresight or ignorance at work should be nipped in the bud itself.”

“So again where is the question of cancellation? Instead of shooting themselves in the foot, CBSE should have announced way back that, this year our evaluation pattern has been upgraded to blended learning (the buzz word used by Ivy league schools) and our quality standards are not in the least affected by the pandemic. Americans stay ahead in the world because of such alert positive policy in all their official communications and here we are making public announcements without applying our minds in many areas. Big brother is watching is not a fad, it is a fact.”

He further states that education and learning are complementary and in the last four years one can see tremendous improvements. With blended learning, students can pursue any program of their choice within a given stream. Universities across the globe are opening their gates for technology and tie-ups with the Industries and foreign nations. For example a student while undergoing a course in a said campus can opt to receive credit for a particular subject offered by another recognised center or university from any part of the world. Learning is becoming seamless across different geographical boundaries and different campuses. Learning has to develop skill and that is all that matters. Now tell me, as the whole world is watching India, should our educational heads be a little bit more sensitive while communicating in public media or not?

If our Indian universities are quick to adapt to such changes they will retain their value and status. In fact we will attract foreign students into our programs and rank within the top five nations of the world. With the blurring of educational boundaries informal and formal education will be the future’s normal, he winds up.


NT Bureau