On 1st June 2021, in a meeting with few cabinet ministers chaired by you, it has been decided to cancel 12th board exams. Regarding this decision in no unclear terms, we want to say that the extraordinary situation that has arisen due to complete failure of the BJP-led central government and different state governments in taking timely and necessary measures right from the beginning in containing the spread of deadly COVID-19 has completely jeopardized the lives of common people in all aspects. This has also resulted in a complete chaotic situation in educational institutions ever since the beginning of the pandemic.
While AIDSO has been demanding that in this situation, following the democratic process, discussions should be organized with different state boards, students’ representatives, teachers’ representatives, eminent educationists and medical fraternity to decide about teaching, examinations, evaluation and rescheduling of academic calendar, the government on the contrary has completely neglected this demand and has been acting unilaterally while taking decisions. Now, during this 2nd wave of pandemic, while the government had sufficient time to discuss the issue of conduction of the examinations and evaluation and could evolve a scientific evaluation system but due to the negligence of the government the issue had not been resolved. Therefore, in this worsening situation of pandemic as students’ safety should be of prime concern the students, parents and teachers were left with no other option than to demand ‘No Exam During Pandemic.’ Though the central government to save its face had hastily announced the decision by buckling under the rising demand in several states, but it was done unilaterally and undemocratically.
Further the central government took the decision to cancel the exams without providing for alternative method of evaluation which has caused much anxiety among students. Students are also worried about the admission to higher courses as there is no clear guideline on conduction of different type of entrance tests and other kind of admission process to enter Higher Educational Institutions. Again, since condition of different states vary, it was very important that on the issue of examinations and evaluation steps should have taken following democratic procedures to ensure a uniform, non-discriminatory, scientific and transparent solution for all students in compliance with the Covid protocol. It should have also ensured vaccination to the students of the age group for which vaccination is approved by the medical experts across the world as well as to teachers and other staff. We understand that only by this way, in such a vast country having different situations in different states, the anxiety of students and parents could have been addressed which unfortunately the government has failed.