Demands To Cancel Offline Board Exams Grow, Parents Body Write To PM Narendra Modi


Demands To Cancel Offline Board Exams Grow, Parents' Body Write To PM

Students, parents and prominent people have urged the government to cancel board exams (Representative)

New Delhi:

Amid a worrying spike in coronavirus cases across the country, the demand for cancellation of offline examinations for Class 10 and 12 board examinations has been growing rapidly.

A parents’ association has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting CBSE, state boards and others to evaluate students via internal assessment instead of physical examinations.

The India Wide Parents Association also added in their letter that as teachers and students have not been vaccinated yet, there is a higher chance of infection. The letter also claimed that medical infrastructure across the country is collapsing.

Adding that many countries have apparently opted for internal assessment for the safety of students, the letter said, “I therefore request you to kindly intervene and discuss with all the state governments and adopt a uniform mode of assessment to save their future and academic year.”

Days ago, over one lakh students of classes 10 and 12 signed petitions urging the government to either cancel board exams scheduled to be held in May or conduct them online.

However, both the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) have said that adequate safety arrangements are being made for students and all COVID-19 guidelines will be followed during the exams.

The CBSE, according to a PTI report, also said they have increased exam centres by 40-50 per cent to ensure social distancing.

However, not everyone was satisfied. Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra have urged the CBSE to rethink the decision of holding exams.

“It is downright irresponsible of boards like the CBSE to force students to sit for exams under the prevailing circumstances,” Ms Gandhi said. “Board exams should either be cancelled, rescheduled or arranged in a manner that does not require the physical presence of children at crowded exam centres.”

Her brother Rahul Gandhi also held similar views.

Actor Sonu Sood, who in August last year also supported deferring NEET and JEE because of the pandemic – tweeted a video appeal.

Maharashtra’s ruling Shiv Sena has also urged the Centre to arrive at a “national consensus” in this matter.

Party spokesperson Arvind Sawant wrote to Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal and said: “Your intervention would mean national consensus, instead of a unilateral decision by any particular state”.

CBSE exam dates were announced in February – Class 10 and 12 exams will begin May 4, with all exams to be held in the offline-written mode.

At that time daily Covid cases in India were fewer than 15,000.

Concerns over students’ safety is all the more serious because children below 18 have not been cleared to get the vaccine; currently only people over 45 are eligible to get the shot.

India recorded 1,68,912 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, the sixth record rise in seven days, pushing the country’s caseload to over 1.35 crore. The resurgence of the virus led to 904 new deaths, taking the total death count to 1,70,179.


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