Class 12th students who have been preparing for their board examinations for months say that they are in limbo with no clarity on assessment process and new admission criteria to professional Under-Graduate (UG) courses.
COVID-19 has left pre university students and their parents out there. Following the cancellation of all class 12 board examinations (CBSE, ICSE, state boards), there is uncertainty and confusion looming over various aspects of UG course admission. Although the announcement to cancel board examinations provided some closure, bewilderment prevails.
Whether it is about criteria for the assessment of class 12 or is about the admission process for professional courses, students and parents feel, they are left high and dry.
‘There is no clarity on how will class 12th marks be calculated. They cancelled the examination without any certainty on assessment and admission process. We do not want 10th or first PU marks to be considered for class 12th assessment. They should have made the cancellation announcement along with more information. This has put students and parents under a lot of pressure’, says Shreya C Karanth, an engineering aspirant and II PUC student, MES PU College of Arts, Commerce & Science.
According to many aiming at professional UG courses, basing class 12th results on class 11th or class 10th is unfair. ‘How can you justify calculating board examination based on previous academic year grades? Many would not have taken their class 11th examination seriously and would have thought of picking up the pace in the second year’, says Hita S Sharma, II PUC student, Mount Carmel College.
Agrees Chetan Patil, a student at Poornaprajna PRE-university College in Udupi, Karnataka. ‘The decision to cancel board examinations has disappointed many. Students do not give equal importance to class 11th and class 12th examinations. In this situation, if class 12th assessment is made based on class 11th marks, many good students will be left behind’, said Chetan, who will be appearing for COMEDK and NEET.
The pandemic has thrown a wrench into the normal college application process and students are worried about the decision of considering only Common Entrance Test (CET), National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) or Consortium of Medical Engineering and Dental Colleges of Karnataka (COMEDK) results for admission to the professional courses. They say that the marking scheme in these competitive examinations is the reason to worry.
Karnataka Deputy CM C N Ashwath Narayana announced on Tuesday that CET marks alone will be used for admission to various professional UG courses in Karnataka.
‘Admission with 100% weightage on CET, NEET or COMEDK ranking will be inequitable. These tests have no negative marking scheme and thus, many a times, good score is a matter of chance too. This might not reflect on the students’ potential and some deserving candidates might lose on good colleges,’ adds Chetan.
It should be noted that without II PU exams, CET marks alone will be used for admission to various professional UG courses in Karnataka. Earlier, CET rank was deduced based on core subjects’ marks in II PU and CET score.
Amidst all the confusion and chaos, students and parents suggest that admissions to the UG courses can be finalized based on an interview or a test, which can act as the balancing factor.
‘Only few UG colleges have internal examinations and interviews in place, and these are mostly degree colleges. Under such unprecedented scenario, a good solution can be an interview process by the professional colleges after CET or COMEDK, to access the students’ potential before the admissions,’ says Sindhu S, another engineering aspirant and II PUC student, MES Vidyasagar PU College.
Agrees Radha Chandrapa, a parent. ‘An interview session before the admissions will help the colleges access the students’ personality behind the grades. I have never believed in the grading system followed by the boards anyways. So given the current scenario, undergraduate professional colleges should put an interview process in place. Many foreign universities conduct such interviews for undergraduate courses to filter students based on their aptitude and creativity,’ says Radha.