Offline board examinations: The new dilemma of the pandemic era
GUWAHATI: The delay in the announcement of the holding the board exams in the state has led to massive confusion amongst the students, their parents, and teachers. Though the state’s education minister Ranoj Pegu has hinted about the possibility of holding the exams by mid-August, students have been constantly taking it to social media to assert their demand of canceling the examinations.
On Tuesday, Pegu insinuated that the board examination is most likely to get conducted from August 1 to August 15. The minister also spoke briefly about examinations that are likely to be held with a finite number of subjects with a shorter time extent. The results are expected by September 5.
However, the confusion amongst the students continues. While many have been eagerly waiting to appear in the exams, some are still reluctant.
Hrishita Lakshmi, a class 10 student says, “Even though it’s against my will but I think I am ready for the offline exams. I have been waiting since May to give our 10th board exams and also to get admission to a decent school or college. The whole process has been tiresome for me.”
When asked about her preparation, she states, “I am trying my best to prepare for the forthcoming exams but this pandemic has changed my study pattern, it’s a bit different from earlier times as there is a lack of proper guidance.”
Whereas, there are many who are still unwilling to take the plunge. Mrigna Priya, a student from the reputed private school in the city says, “I feel that going for offline exams in this current situation is quite risky and dangerous. We, the students, aren’t vaccinated yet and we can see the number of people infected and death due to covid in the news every day which fears us. So, I feel that conducting the exams through online mode with stringent rules will be the safest way.”
She further mentions that she has been under tremendous mental pressure due to the ongoing dilemma. “I’m not being able to concentrate properly. There are multiple things hovering in my mind from the past few months such as, when will be the exams conducted, for how many subjects I shall prepare, is there any possibility for the exams to get canceled, and many more.”
For Madhusmita Bhagawati, a teacher and a guardian herself, the situation seems more difficult. While keeping the students’ future in mind, she advocates offline exams; the fear of the virus seems to linger in her mind. She says, “It’s not only the students who will have to go out for the exams but teachers, co-ordinators, exam superintendents, etc too will be involved in the scenario. Hence, proper guidelines and protocols need to be strictly followed.”
The health department is likely to make a closing call in the matter shortly and the state government may come up with a standard operating procedure (SOP) in this regard in the next seven to 10 days.
Earlier, states chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said, “Just a pass certificate will not help to build the future of our students. We need to think rationally.”