By ARUN PRATAP SINGH
DEHRADUN, 16 Jun: The Council for Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) in a press release issued on Monday has clarified that it has decided not to pressurise ICSE (Class X) and ISC (Class XII) students to appear for the remaining papers of the board exams. The CISCE has given children the option of opting out of the remaining papers. It is pertinent to note that the decision of the Council comes after the case in this regard was heard on Monday by the Mumbai High Court. In its response to the notice, the Council informed the court that it would not pressurise ICSE and ISC students to appear for the remaining papers of the board exams.
It is pertinent to point out here that Uttarakhand and, in particular, Dehradun, Mussoorie and Nainital have a large number of day and boarding schools affiliated with the Council, though some schools switched over to CBSE some years ago. The press release on behalf of the Council was issued by Gerry Arathoon, Chief Executive and Secretary of the Council.
It may be recalled that, initially, the exams were scheduled between 27 February and 30 March, but due to the nationwide lockdown, the exams from 19 March onwards were postponed. The new schedule to conduct remaining exams was announced on 22 May as the Council appeared to be keen to hold the remaining examinations. Its move was opposed by a large number of parents due to a huge surge in cases of coronavirus in the country. Parents in Uttarakhand as well in the rest of the country also ran a social media campaign, ‘Cancel ICSE Exams’, to dissuade the Council from going ahead with its decision. Some parents also submitted petitions to the Supreme Court for cancellation of the exams.
The Council informed the bench comprising Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice SS Shinde that it had given the children the option to either appear for remaining papers scheduled to be held from 2 July or opt out. The Council further said that, in case the children choose the second option, their final results in pending subjects would be determined on the basis of their performance in internal assessment or pre-board examinations or results of board examination papers in subjects already taken.
Results of the remaining subjects would be declared on the basis of students’ performance in the subjects on the basis of examinations already held. The Council said that the same would be communicated to all 2,605 schools affiliated to it and the option of each and every student would be ascertained. It said that the schools would be required to inform the same to its students, who could then choose their response and inform the school, which they would forward to the Council latest by 22 June.
The Council for Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) was responding to a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by advocate Arvind Tiwari in the Bombay High Court, seeking a direction to the Board to cancel the examination of remaining papers.
Tiwari said the bench has now sought to know if the Maharashtra Government is willing to grant permission to CISCE for conducting ICSE and ISC examinations for remaining papers. The petition has been posted for further hearing on 17 June.