BHUBANESWAR: More than 10 lakh students in Odisha are unsure if the state government will conduct the annual board exams in 2021.
Their uncertainty is increasing every passing day, with the state’s educational boards — the Board of Secondary Education (BSE) and the Council of Higher Secondary Education (CHSE) — providing no clarifications about whether the exams would be held next year.
Worried students and their parents said the government must come up with a plan to hold the exams, ideally by pushing them back by a couple of months. “The government must take a final decision on this matter so that our children and we can be mentally prepared. If the Covid situation continues to improve like it has been doing, and the government decides to reopen schools in January, how can it hold board exams in February or March? It makes sense to push the exams back by a few months,” said Prakash Chandra Mohanty, secretary of Odisha Secondary School Teachers Association (OSSTA). He proposed that the government conduct the exams in May or June.
Usually Class X and Class XII state board exams are held in February and March. Preparations for the conduct of the exams begin at least three to four months in advance. The boards issue notification about the exams in September, and a tentative schedule is announced in October.
“Although online classes are being held, students cannot possibly become board exam-ready simply by learning in this manner. Many of my friends are unable to attend classes due to the unavailability of a phone or internet. If their doubts are not cleared, how will they appear for the exam?” said Sandipani Subudhhi, a Class X student of Satyabadi High School.
In spite of the government conducting online classes, as well as using mass media like television and radio to reach out to more students, many students have fallen out of the education grid of the state. Those in interior areas of the state and in tribal pockets are unable to attend classes due to lack of internet connectivity and access to smartphones. In urban areas, too, very few students can afford the mobile data needed to attend online classes.
“Students have to attend classes on campus for at least two months before appearing for the board exam,” said Sonamika Ray, headmaster of Capital High School here.
School and mass education minister Samir Ranjan Dash said the government would not take any decision that would inconvenience students. “Before conducting the exam, we will ensure at least two-three months’ offline classes are held,” he said
Source From : Times Of India