Bracing themselves with mask and sanitizers, students of Class 10 and 12 are well prepared to appear for the board examinations after almost two years since the Covid-19 pandemic struck. Amidst apprehensions of the fourth wave making news and schools being partially shut with students found positive with covid, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) went ahead of conducting the term 2 exams for Class 10 and Class 12 from April 26. In order to conduct the examinations seamlessly and to maintain social distancing amid the ongoing pandemic, the board has asked schools to arrange seating for only 18 students in an examination hall, thereby increasing the number of examination halls for term 2 exams. Four superintendents will be posted in one examination hall.
Students, too, have been asked to follow the COVID protocols strictly. To avoid the spread of the Coronavirus, the board has strictly instructed students to wear masks at all times right from entering the examination hall to the exit. They would also have to follow the social distancing norms. Apart from following the covid protocols, there are other challenges which are keeping the school authorities on their toes. Since the schools would be functioning during the examination, the school have to be mindful of the protocol that ought to be followed if a student is found to be COVID positive on the day of the examination or a day before. For this, most of the schools are considering dividing wings for the board examination. For a few schools, however, this is not that easy. Since only 18 students will be seated in one classroom, it proves to be a logistical concern for many. Additionally, keeping the isolation rooms ready for the symptomatic students is yet another challenge! In such a scenario many schools have taken a call to undertake online classes in order to accommodate the board students. But it’s not only the COVID numbers that have the teachers worried. The scorching heat has everyone worried. The fact that heat would force students to remove the masks is another concern. Temperatures are soaring. Delhi is already burning and students would be writing exams from 10:30am to 12:30pm. Not only is heat a concern, the mask mandate becomes tricky. A student might want to remove the mask as it would be too hot.
Board examinations are an important yardstick in determining the life trajectories of the nation’s human capital. But just the process of taking these exams has become a challenge for the students due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the consequent disruption caused by it to the education sector and the world at large.
In short, a student’s performance in the board exams hinges not just on the difficulties in taking the exam, but on the challenges faced during the entire course of the academic year. And these challenges need due acknowledgement, if we are to truly understand the difficult and unprecedented circumstances the students of class 10 and 12 are in, pertaining to the board exams!