Vox Pop: Talks Of 'Relief' And 'Anxiety' As Board Exam Schedules Derailed By COVID-19 Surge
While Class 10 students heaved a sigh of relief after their board exams were cancelled in view of the surge in COVID-19 cases, those in Class 12 say the postponement of their papers will add to the anxiety about their future study plans.
While Class 10 students heaved a sigh of relief after their board exams were cancelled in view of the surge in COVID-19 cases, those in Class 12 say the postponement of their papers will add to the anxiety about their future study plans. Delayed college admissions, hampered plans to study abroad and uncertainty on when will the exams be finally conducted are among the questions on the mind of Class 12 students and parents.
The CBSE on Wednesday cancelled Class 10 board exams and deferred Class 12 exams in view of the surge in coronavirus cases. While the situation will be reviewed in June for conducting Class 12 papers, the result for Class 10 will be declared on basis of an objective criteria to be decided by the board. The exams were scheduled to begin from May 4.
"They should have either cancelled the exams or left the schedule intact. Now again it's going to be a vicious cycle of endless wait for exams and future plans including college admissions," said Nitika Sethi, a Class 12 student in the national capital.
Tridip Gohain, a Class 10 student said, "I am glad they chose to cancel the exams and not postpone it. Now at least the mental pressure is off. My Class 11 studies have already begun, I can now concentrate on that."
A Class 12 student, who did not wish to be identified, said, "I had plans to study abroad but the delay in Class 12 exams and subsequently the delayed results will hamper it. I have written to the universities I have applied to check if they can accommodate late results."
Tiya Gupta, a Class 10 student, said, "I am quite satisfied with this decision of CBSE to cancel 10 board exams. Every year, the board exams of Class 10 students are over by this time of the year, but this year due to COVID-19, board examinations were being postponed which had left many students worried."
"Fear and anxiety were making a huge impact on our studies. The second thing was the growing cases of COVID-19. In the minds of our parents, there was a fear that in such a situation, how children would write their papers."
The Delhi Parents Association (DPA) welcomed the decision, saying Class 12 exams are crucial and it is better they are conducted. "Class 10 exams are not as high-stakes as Class 12 papers. Hence, we were demanding that the Class 10 exams be cancelled. Class 12 exams are crucial exams and should be conducted anyhow,” said Aprajita Gautam, the President of Delhi Parents Association.
"It’s unfortunate students have to undergo more anxiety but unprecedented times require unprecedented decisions." Ashoka Agarwal, President, All India Parents Association (AIPA), said, "The CBSE must have taken decision keeping students’ interest in mind. Therefore, we welcome this decision." The demands for cancellation of board exams were being raised from various quarters.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia had on Tuesday appealed to the Centre to cancel the exams, saying it can contribute to a large scale spread of the coronavirus. Last week, Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi had urged Union Education Minister Pokhriyal to intervene and direct CBSE to reconsider its decision to go ahead with the board examinations in May despite the "massive and uncontrolled" rise in COVID-19 cases.
The Shiv Sena had also written to the education ministry, requesting the government to develop a national consensus and possibly reschedule classes 10 and 12 CBSE and other board exams. Over 2 lakh students had signed an online petition demanding cancellation of board exams and the hasthtag "cancelboardexams" has also been trending on Twitter for a week.