Amid a peak in COVID-19 cases, more than one lakh students in grades 10 and 12 signed petitions urging the government to cancel the council exams scheduled for May or conduct them online. The hashtag “cancelboardexams2021” has been a trend on Twitter for the past two days.
However, both the Central Council for Secondary Education (CBSE) and the Council for School Certificate Examinations in India (CISCE) said that appropriate safety measures are being taken for students and that all COVID-19 guidelines will be followed during exams.
“The situation in India is getting worse by the day. When there were few cases in the country, they canceled other council exams and now, when cases are at their peak, they plan to open schools. We ask the Minister of Education to look into this matter and cancel all exams to be taken this year, as students are already under a lot of stress, ”said a petition on Change.org.
Divya Garg, a 10th-grade student, asked on Twitter that the government postpone the exams for at least a month and then do a new review based on the number of cases. “Students have faced many problems so far in this pandemic. Classes were taught online, so exams should also be taken online or students should be promoted through internal assessment notes, ”tweeted another user.
Typically, practical exams are held in January and written exams start in February and end in March. However, examinations were delayed and are scheduled to run from May to June due to the pandemic.
“Adequate arrangements are being made to ensure that students are safe and all COVID protocols are followed. The number of examination centers has been increased by 40-50 percent to ensure social distancing. The examination center staff is being sensitized to ensure that all guidelines are followed, ”said a senior CBSE official.
The council had announced last week that if any student did not attend the practical exams in progress after the student or family member had tested positive, the schools will do new tests for them at an appropriate time. The minister, however, did not comment on whether the same relaxation will be given to students in the theoretical tests as well. Likewise, Gerry Arathoon, CISCE’s chief executive and secretary, said the examination schedule “will remain the same”.
Schools across the country were closed in March last year to contain the spread of COVID-19 before a national blockade. Several states started to partially reopen schools from October last year, but physical classes were suspended again due to the exponential increase in coronavirus cases.
Last year, the council’s exams had to be postponed in mid-March. Subsequently, the results were canceled and the results were announced based on an alternative evaluation scheme. Both CBSE and CISCE decided not to make a merit list last year.
India recorded a record single-day peak of 1.26,789 new COVID-19 cases, bringing its infection count to 1.29,28,574, while the number of active cases also rose to break the nine lakh mark again, the data from the Union Ministry of Health updated on Thursday showed