However, what may come as a relief is that the number of candidates who will appear for the compartment exams is relatively small. “Nearly 2.3 lakh students will be appearing for the compartment exams this year, up by around 10,000 candidates since 2019,” says Sanyam Bharadwaj, controller of examinations while talking to
The pandemic, he assures, will not impact students’ attendance as around 80-85% students are expected to take the exam. Though 15-20% candidates may drop out, Covid-19, he cites, may not be the only reason.
“As part of the safety protocols, CBSE will be conducting the exams across 1250 centres (approx) as compared to 500 centres last year. In most of the centres, the number of candidates will be in single digits (upto nine) or at the most double digits (not more than 99). While in class X, students can appear for maximum two subjects, class XII students are permitted to appear in only one. This will ensure less number of candidates at the exam centres and better enforcement of social distancing norms.
CBSE has also made the provision for students with a compartment in Standard Math to appear for Basic Math. Both the exams have been scheduled on September 25. “It will take the pressure off candidates who fear scoring less in Math,” Bharadwaj adds.
“In view of the ongoing pandemic, the Board will issue letters to the students and parents about the safety precautions that need to be undertaken. We will also be organising a webinar with detailed guidelines for the invigilators of exam centres on how to conduct the exams. Most of these centres/schools were the venues for NEET 2020 exam which is why officials have a clear idea about the safety protocols,” Bharadwaj says.
He believes that postponement of the compartment exams does not make sense as arrangements are being made to “save the academic year of the students”.
“JEE Main has given students and parents the confidence that such pan India exams can be conducted successfully while safeguarding students’ interests. The board will also ensure responsible conduct of the examination with all the safety measures in place,” Bharadwaj assures.
Tapati Chatterjee, director-principal, Modern Public School, is all for the move. “CBSE’s decision has come at the right juncture as it will reduce the frustration levels of students who thought they would pass but are now burdened with the ‘compartment’ tag. The datesheet has made them more relaxed. Many of the candidates are taking online classes as part of the preparation process and working very hard. CBSE should conduct the exams as per the schedule to help them regain confidence in their abilities and performance. The board should also declare the results as soon as possible to give clarity to students’ future,” Chatterjee adds.