“How can we expect them to set aside all that they are witnessing and focus on their board exams? How can we, as the guardians of their future, refuse to hear their cries of helo and turn away their requests to be heard?," asks Priyanka Gandhi in a letter to Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank.
Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has written to the Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ supporting students’ demand to cancel the cancel class 12 board exams. In the letter, she wrote that students have been under immense pressure this year, and holding the high-stake class 12 board exams in such a situation will impact their emotional and psychological health.
“The second wave has been even more devasting and traumatic than the first," she wrote in the letter. The Congress leader also added suggestions received by her from different stakeholders on how to hold class 12 exams.
Stating that she is writing on behalf of students, parents, and teachers, she said, Children have already been under immense pressure as “for much of the year, their schools remained closed, the normal interactions with friends that children thrive on have been practically absent. Many contracted COVID-19 themselves and many have lost people they love, family, members, and friends this year"
The government is yet to announce its final decision regarding the CBSE class 12 board exams. While students have been demanding cancelation, in a meeting headed by the Union Defence Minister, most ministers most of the states had favoured holding exams.
“The very real fear of psychological trauma of the raging pandemic coupled with a prolonged and intense pressure of the board exams can lead to severe mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and PTSD," the letter read.
Gandhi also pointed out how Uttar Pradesh has lost 1,600 teachers to Covid-19 as they were put on Panchayat election duty. Students fear that if they appear for the exams in crowded examination centres, they will not only be putting their own lives at risk but their ailing family members, grandparents as well.
Gandhi also wrote that the Chhattisgarh Board (CGBSE) has found a “viable solution" for the conduction of board exams. It is holding the exams in an open book mode, wherein students will be required to write by sitting at their home. Various parents have suggested the same for CBSE.
Many students have also suggested that there should a comprehensive strategy to vaccinate students, however, since the exams are already delayed this year, “this could be the plan for students who might face similar circumstances in 2022," she wrote
Meanwhile, the Central government will inform the final decision on the CBSE, CISCE class 12 board exams to the Supreme Court on June 3. The court order stated, “As competent authorities are examining all aspects of the matter and are likely to take in principle decision which would be placed before the court on that date."