Considering the four-month disruption ~ as of now ~ the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination has appropriately devised a fairly logical formula for the exams that are scheduled to be held this year and the next. The “statistical methodology”, so-called, will cover the cancelled ICSE and ISC examinations that were held in March, indeed at the threshold of the nationwide lockdown.

The evaluation will be riveted to the best three scores in subjects for which a student has already appeared along with internal assessments, projects and practicals. This is a fairly rational praxis of evaluation that is partially based on the conventional system and without deviating to the still rather amorphous online learning ~ to which not all students have access.

Nor for that matter do all schools have the wherewithal for online teaching. For the 2021 exams, the syllabus has been truncated by 25 per cent because of the loss the students have suffered in terms of school hours.

One must give it to the Council that it has acted with far greater promptitude than Kolkata’s Bishop’s House and the missionary schools which recently decided on a 25 per cent fee waiver under three heads ~ sports, computer classes, and use of the library.

What has now been packaged as a consensus has been agreed upon after considerable wrangling between Bishop’s House and the Association of Heads of Anglo-Indian Schools.

The Council has directed schools to “navigate the syllabus strictly according to the sequence of topics laid down by the board so as to facilitate further reduction”. The Council’s computation might seem to be complicated on the face of it, but there is little doubt that it is a scientific approach that has been devised to determine the student’s academic ability.

Students will be evaluated on the basis of internal assessments, project work and practical work which they have already taken for the board examinations. There is little doubt that the Council has adopted a mathematical calculation and has devised a student-friendly formula.

The latest performance of students has been taken into account, and this will benefit the candidates. It is pretty obvious that while students who are very good in academics will benefit, the average student or the ones with lower merit will not. However, it is generally expected that this system of evaluation will help students score the pass marks easily.

It is early days to presume that standards will thus get diluted; suffice it to register that overall the new method of evaluation will benefit the students who have already lost four months of the academic year and in the midst of the first public examination.