Keeping in mind the safety and precautions during the virus widespread, Indian administration on 1st June declared cancellation of board examinations of 12th standard. Boards are public exams that is conducted for the students of 10th and 12th standard at the end of the year. 10th boards have already been cancelled in April due to the same reasons. The meeting was chaired by Prime minister Narendra Modi along with other ministers. He said that the health and safety of our students is our priority and keeping it on risk in a no way solution.
Education has drastically got affected due to the pandemic all over the world and India is also one of those affected countries. According to the statistics, education of 290 million students has been disturbed in the country where education is still a challenge for other millions due to social and economic reasons.
While talking to 18 years old atharv, he told EAT news, ‘To be honest I was satisfied with the decision of cancellation of 12th boards, because the situation is very bad out there. Examination centres are usually crowded and currently, this major factor has to be avoided by everybody.’ He also said about how meanwhile the decision was undeclared, teachers were supporting the safety from the very beginning and were convincing the higher authorities of school to either cancel the exams or conduct it online. After the decision was out, lot of students supported it while some other were disappointed. Shreya, a student of 12th standard said, ‘I am disappointed with the fact that this stage of my life will not come back. I was studying really hard for the exams. Now since it is cancelled, we have not been told what will be the evaluation process for the result but I am hoping it will be fair for all the students.’ She further added, ‘Last year also, we were permitted to 12th standard without any exams but by our assignments and projects we submitted. This pandemic definitely ruined the academics. Now in future, my report card will not have the scores I obtained from exams but by any projects, assignment or some objective criteria decided by the authorities.’
Shreya lost her grandmother due to Covid in April and was deeply disturbed by it. But she said, ‘It was really disturbing for me and my family. I do understand about the health and safety should be prioritize during such times, but I am also sad regarding my academics and how this whole organized process is interrupted by the Covid-19’.
As schools are following virtual learning due to the Covid 19, students along with teachers are not satisfied with the process and are concerned about the academic loss of the children. Shivani Mehta is a school teacher and is bothered with the same situation. She said, ‘I am well aware about the condition and how important it was to cancel the exams rather than conduct it offline. But I am also worried about the academic loss these children are facing.’ She said that exams have its own significance and especially in Indian education structure. 2020 and now 2021 is affecting the education and will leave a mark on the literary unit of all the students.
While explaining the importance of exams she quoted EAT news, ‘Lot of people think exams give mental pressure to the students but actually it is a part of evaluation process to permit a student to the higher class. It shows what a student has understood from the class learnings and even their personal knowledge. But now considering only the assignments and projects while passing them for the next class is very impractical.’
Mrs. Mehta mentioned about the chaos an online class brings. ‘Usually, I take class from 9:00 am and the it goes for 1:00 pm and sometimes 12:00am, depends. There are always some students have network error, voice breaking, some are not tech friendly, so there are lot of challenges that we face during teaching. And I always schedule the topics for each day, but sometimes due to certain issues, it does not go as planned’, she said. This is burdening students as teachers are left with no option but to give them (students) topics to study by their own, and later can contact us for queries and doubts. Definitely virtual learning is not giving much clarity to students and teachers, and on the top of that permitting students without exams is like ‘bitter gourd topped with neem’, according to her.
‘I don’t know how long will it take to get back to normal, but it seems impossible to reopen schools this year too. As a part of teaching faculty of this educational structure, I feel helpless and worried at the same time for my students and their future because some areas need to be untouched by virtual feature and education is one of them’.