Many CBSE school students whose Grade X exams have been cancelled are busy are preparing for future entrance exams or revising syllabus to address any learning gaps after the auto-promotion.
The self-driven students said times are unpredictable and being on top of the learning curve is the only way forward.
“Now that the exams have been cancelled I am preparing for my IIT-JEE entrance coaching which happens virtually. Already a lot of learning time has been lost. I am also looking forward to my new class, as Grade XI classes will commence from 25 April in our school,” said Amogh Arun, student of GEMS Our Own English High School, Sharjah–Boys.
“Before the exams got cancelled our school had prepared a ‘merit list’ based on our internal exams. We had then chosen our respective streams for Grade XI back then. I had scored a 95.3 per cent in my pre-boards and was an A scholar. But despite that I was looking to improve my score in the final exams,” he added
Some students had mixed reactions to the cancellation after a year-long classroom disruption. Josh John Phillip, student of Delhi Private School Sharjah, said, “I had mixed feelings when I heard that exams had been cancelled. Now I am playing at home, chatting with people, virtually interacting with friends. But I also make it a point to go through my Grade 10 Science and Math syllabus as I know this would help me in my higher classes. We haven’t received much information from our school as yet on when our Grade XI classes would begin. Besides, we are yet to know if we’ve finally got our chosen streams. So, we are awaiting information from our schools.”
Headteachers said they are in direct communication with students and their parents to assuage any worries and help them understand the upcoming process. Bushra Mansoor, Head of Secondary, Springdales School, Dubai, said, “In our school, the students are finishing their pre boards. This will be a final assessment tool for the teachers to evaluate the learning and be ready for any objective internal assessment from the boards and a self-evaluation tool for students. This will also be a base for stream/subject selections. We have already completed three weeks of bridge classes for Grade 11 in the month of March, which is an initiative by our school. Hence, the students continue with their Grade 11 as soon as they finish the pre boards in the third week of April.”
There is still some uncertainty among students about the way ahead. Grade X student, Regan, from GEMS Our Own English High School, Sharjah –Boys says, “We hear that our school might conduct a fresh set of online internal exams. But we aren’t sure about that yet. So I keep revising my syllabus as it would help in the future as well. I wasn’t really satisfied with my pre board results and feel I could have performed better in the boards. The cancellation of exams has been a bit disappointing considering we have been preparing for the past one year. However, now that we know we are not sitting for it, I have to admit I am also feeling relaxed.”
Meanwhile, principals said the objective criterion which the CBSE Board is drawing up to report Grade 10 students’ attainment, should establish consistency of outcomes. They also contend that the all-India character of CBSE examinations necessitated unified examinations all these years, with minimal guidelines governing parity in internal assessments. Fatima Martin, Principal, GEMS New Millennium School – Al Khail said, “we are looking at a quicker reopening date for Grade XI students and have already written to KHDA seeking their approval for a faster resumption of classes after the cancellation of Grade X board exams. We are awaiting the regulating body’s approval now and hope that by a week or two we should be able to commence classes.”
She adds, “We have tried to keep the learning tempo going with more mini-module teaching/learning sessions after the exams were postponed earlier. So, to minimize the learning lag, schools must act fast and conscientiously to support students at all levels.”