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Cancel CBSE board exams: Priyanka Gandhi writes to Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal

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Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra wrote a letter to Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank on Sunday asking to cancel the CBSE board exams 2021 in light of the spike in Covid-19 cases to ensure the safety of students in crowded exam centres.

Priyanka Gandhi said that if the students were made to sit in crowded exam halls for the CBSE board exams at a time when more than a lakh new coronavirus cases were coming to light in India per day, then the government and CBSE would be held responsible in case the exam centres turned into Covid-19 hotspots.

“The government and the CBSE board might want to consider whether they are prepared to own the legal liability for students or others who might be severely affected by the disease in this manner,” she said in her letter.

 

 

Following Vadra’s tweet regarding her letter, Rahul Gandhi also tweeted his support, asking for the CBSE board exams 2021 to be reconsidered.

“In the light of the devastating Corona second wave, conducting #CBSE exams must be reconsidered. All stakeholders must be consulted before making sweeping decisions. On how many counts does GOI intend to play with the future of India’s youth?” Rahul Gandhi tweeted.

As per the revised date sheet for CBSE board exams 2021, the Class 10 exams would be held between May 4 and June 7 and the Class 12 exams would be held between May 4 and June 15.

CBSE said earlier that the exam centres in India have been increased by 40-50% to ensure students can practice social distancing for Covid-19 safety.

What did Priyanka Gandhi say in her letter?

“The Government and the CBSE board might want to consider whether they are prepared to own the legal liability for students or others who might be severely affected by the disease in this manner,” Vadra said in her letter to Ramesh Pokhriyal.

She noted in her letter that lakhs of students and parents were anxious about what would happen if they got together in exam centres for the CBSE board exam during the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. She said that apart from the students, the teachers, invigilators and parents in contact with the students would also be at risk.

She said that the fears of the students were well-founded since having to appear for the board exams in such a situation would cause undue anxiety which would also prevent the students from giving their best in the CBSE board exams 2021.

“They are rightfully requesting that the exams be cancelled under the prevailing circumstances,” she said, adding that the psychological health of the children might also be affected apart from their physical health.

“I do hope that the Government will engage in a dialogue with schools, students and their parents so that a safer way for them to fulfil their educational obligations can be found,” Priyanka Gandhi added.

“Rather than forcing them into a potentially dangerous situation, it would be in the fitness of things for them to be given the support, encouragement and protection that is due to them at this very trying time,” Vadra said in her letter to the education minister.

‘Political leaders need to ensure student safety’

Priyanka Gandhi also said in her letter that it was the responsibility of political leaders to ensure that the students and youngsters were protected.

She asked ‘what moral grounds can we stand on’ if the CBSE board exams 2021 were made to continue despite various states issuing safety guidelines to prevent a large number of people assembly in public places.

Education

Big Update related to CBSE Class 12 Exams: Read here

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The Central Board of Secondary Education had earlier decided to conduct the upcoming CBSE Class 12 board exams in June this year, but now, due to the rise in Covid-19 cases across the country, students and parents are protesting the conduction of the exams.

School students across the country are pushing CBSE to cancel the Class 12 board exams this year as many reports show that children below the age of 18 are more susceptible to Covid-19 in the current environment. CBSE has not issued any official statement regarding the same yet.

A senior Education Ministry official told TOI, “Given the current situation, there is a possibility of scrapping the exams altogether. CBSE will review the situation and probably would have to work out an alternative assessment scheme for the Class 12 students.”

Though it is being speculated that the CBSE Class 12 board exams will be cancelled this year, there is no official announcement regarding the same. It is expected that CBSE will announce the final decision regarding the conduction of exams in June.

CBSE Class 10 exams, state board exams cancelled

Last month, CBSE made the announcement that the Class 10 board exams stand cancelled and the students will be promoted without physical exams. The evaluation pattern for Class 10 students was also recently released by CBSE.

After this announcement, several state governments also took the decision to cancel and postpone the upcoming board exams. In recent news, the Karnataka SSLC exams 2021 have been postponed due to the rise in Covid-19 cases across the state.

Currently, the decision to conduct the CBSE Class 12 exams is “under review” by CBSE and the Ministry of Education, but the announcement will be made shortly. Many educationists have said that there is a possibility that the exams will be cancelled this year.

Given the current second wave of Covid-19 pandemic across the country, many students and parents are anxious about the conduction of the CBSE exams, which are set to be conducted in offline mode. Last year as well, the exams for several subjects were delayed due to the pandemic.

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