After getting over 30 state boards to agree with the decision to scrap marks moderation policy, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) now finds itself caught in a quandary. Following this decision at a meeting in April last, around 10 state boards have declared their class 12 results already, including Punjab, Harya, Kartaka and Rajasthan boards. And as expected, their pass percentages have dropped with the jettisoning of moderation policy. But the CBSE has been served with a stay order by Delhi High Court, which has ruled that it ‘cannot change the rules once the game has begun’. “These children, who have worked so hard and have burnt the midnight oil, are entitled to some stability and the only stability they know is the system. Do not instil insecurity in them,” rebuked the HC bench, while asking CBSE why it cannot implement the change in policy from next year as the results of 2016-17 class XII exams are expected in a few days. Now all indications are that the Central government will move the Supreme Court challenging the Delhi HC ruling. HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar meanwhile has assured 11 lakh CBSE examinees that their results ‘will be declared on time’, though he has not specified any dates. But the CBSE authority’s confusion can be gauged from the appeal it recently made to Delhi University, seeking ‘special consideration’ for its examinees! Why? Because all state boards are not acting in unison over marks moderation. The Kerala board is talking about ‘subjectivity correction’ while the Odisha board has openly declared following its ‘standard practice’ of moderating up to 3 percentage points this year too. Some boards are therefore fretting it is too late for them to change the marks already declared, thereby putting their examinees at disadvantage. All this muddling merely goes to show that the CBSE and state boards should have taken a considered decision over scrapping moderation policy by giving it sufficient time, devised a uniform response, and overhauled the evaluation process which had made marks moderation necessary in the first place. The Assam Higher Secondary Education Council has been spared this confusion for 2017, but it will have to gear up for 2018 with an appropriate policy.
CBSE in quandary