New Delhi, Jun 2 (PTI) School principals on Wednesday welcomed the government”s decision to cancel class 12 board exams in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying it is an “appropriate call” and will take children off “tenterhooks”.”The announcement comes as a great relaxation for students who were undergoing anxiety due to uncertainty associated with the board exams. We welcome the step and look forward for further declarations specifically for schools and teachers in regards to alternative mode of fair assessment,” said Rajat Goel, director of MRG School, Rohini.”The country is undergoing a major health crisis. Although recovery rate has increased but the fear of contagion remains. Exam preparation needs absolute concentration and mental peace, conducting crucial exams like boards would not have been justified during the current times of unrest,” he added.The government on Tuesday decided to cancel the CBSE class 12 board exams amid the continuing COVID-19 pandemic across the country with Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserting that the decision has been taken in the interest of students and the anxiety among students, parents and teachers must be put to an end.The decision was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Modi in which it was decided that the CBSE will take steps to compile the results of Class 12 students according to a well-defined objective criteria in a time-bound manner.Sangeeta Hajela, principal of DPS Indirapuram said, “The decision to cancel board exams must have been really well-thought out and taken after a lot of deliberations by the senior, experienced officials in view of the complete situation pan India.””The interest of a large number of students from diverse backgrounds , would have been an important point in this decision as India is a vast country which has a lot of disparity in terms of school infrastructure at multiple levels. However, the humongous challenge of computing a dependable result will need to be met now,” he added.Pallavi Upadhyaya, principal of DPS-RNE Ghaziabad said there is nothing more important than the safety of students.”We appreciate the decision of government cancelling the board exams, as it was anyways getting very stressful during these times. Students have been preparing the same syllabus since 1.5 years. There is nothing more important than students” safety and we are glad government addressed that in the right manner,” she said.Few school representatives, however, felt that too much effort was put in the session so far with the view that exams will be conducted.”We were thoroughly prepared for the boards and I regret the fact that all the spadework has been rendered purposeless. Anyways I am grateful that the confusion and anxiety have terminated and with it, the health and well-being of the students, teachers and their families have been prioritised,” said Pragnya Paramita Sahoo from ODM Public School.”But the question of an alternative evaluation of the students is still unanswered. I thus plea the government and the CBSE to take a prudential and timely decision in this regard such that the students receive the results they aptly deserved,” Sahoo added.While the alternative assessment criteria for the exams has not been finalised by the board yet, officials said it is expected to be on similar lines as announced for Class 10 which took into account the performance of a student in various tests and exams through the year.It was also decided in the meeting on Tuesday that in case some students desire to take the exams, such an option would be provided to them by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), as and when the situation becomes conducive.”Children have been on tenterhooks since the onslaught of the second wave of COVID-19. Looking at the present scenario this is the right and balanced step keeping in mind physical and mental safety of lakhs of students across India. The cancellation will also ensure the timely execution of the next academic year and colleges will be able to begin the admissions as per schedule.”The move will also benefit students travelling abroad for higher studies who would need mark sheets for admissions,” said Aakash Chaudhry, managing director of Aakash Educational Services Ltd. PTI GJS