‘Board Exams Amid Second Wave Scary For Us, But CBSE Won’t Listen’

CBSE says all COVID protocols are being followed during exams, but the reality on the ground is quite different.

My Report
2 min read

Video Editor: Puneet Bhatia
Video Producer: Saradha Natarajan
Illustrations: Arnica Kala

As India registers ‘highest one-day spike’ in COVID cases almost every other day, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has said that Board examinations for classes 10 and 12 will continue as scheduled.

As students, we have been told from a young age that a lot rides on these exams – yet, in the middle of a raging pandemic, exams will be held offline across the country 4 May onwards.

The second wave is aggressive and students have raised concerns regarding the same. How can we be expected to sit for boards at a time like this? Health is not to be taken lightly.

The government is failing to listen to our voices and students’ requests are falling on deaf ears. Who will be held responsible if students test positive after these exams?

The virus alone is not the only concern. With education and classes shifting online, students have had trouble understanding many concepts, while many couldn't attend online classes due to the unavailability of internet and smartphones.

“The whole year, education was online just for an adjustment. None of the teachers, principal or education authorities asked whether we were able to understand via online classes. They did not ensure that online classes were as successful as offline.”
Name Withheld, Class 10 Student

Physical classes hold importance for the overall understanding of the syllabus throughout the session, which students have not received this year. Moreover, while the CBSE has promised COVID protocols will be followed and adequate safety measures will be taken, this has not been the case for many of us who went to school for our practical exams.

“They say that they are following a standard operating procedure, like wearing masks and using sanitizers or maintaining social distancing in schools. But when I went to the school for my practical exam, no COVID SOPs were being followed. Students are not wearing their masks properly, they are just wearing them for the sake of it, below their noses.”
Name Withheld, Class 12 Student, Odisha

It is said that kids and the young are more susceptible to the double mutant strain. We have faced many changes this year, from online learning and no schooling for over a year. We are, therefore, under immense pressure.

Over 1 lakh students have signed a petition to cancel the board exams, as was done at the beginning of the pandemic when cases were lesser in number. We request the Education Ministry to reconsider its decision and save us the tension and worry.

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