'Bound to affect kids' mental health': Priyanka Gandhi on exams during Covid
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Thursday slammed the authorities for their decision to conduct board examinations amid the rising cases of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) and said the education system needs to 'drastically alter its attitude'. The added pressure of having to appear for examinations, even as the country reeled under the pandemic, will affect the mental health of children, she said.
"While corona is ravaging our country again, the added pressure of exams is bound to affect the mental health of children. Our education system needs to drastically alter its attitude and start reflecting sensitivity and compassion towards children rather than just talk ..about at their conclaves and conferences," she tweeted.
Demanding that the exams be cancelled or rescheduled, she said the students should not be mandated to appear for them at examination centres.
"It is downright irresponsible of boards like the CBSE to force students to sit for exams under the prevailing circumstances. Board exams should either be cancelled, rescheduled or arranged in a manner that does not require the physical presence of children at crowded exam centres," she added.
Board examinations for Classes 10 and 12, which usually begin in February and conclude in March, have been slated to take place in May.
The decision to hold exams was met with a protest by students amid the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the country. India on Friday registered a record single-day spike of 1,31,968 fresh Covid-19 cases, pushing the infection tally to 1,30,60,542.
After the exam schedule was announced, over one lakh students signed petitions urging the government to either cancel them or conduct them in online mode, according to news agency PTI.
In their defence, both the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) have said that adequate safety arrangements have been made and and all Covid-19 guidelines will be followed during the exams.
"Adequate arrangements are being made to ensure the students are safe and all Covid protocols are followed. The number of exam centres has been increased by 40-50 per cent to ensure social distancing. The staff at exam centres is being sensitised to ensure all guidelines are followed," a senior CBSE official told PTI.