This has references to the report in ‘SOM’ dated May 19 about the SSLC exams beginning from June 25. I have been following very closely the incalculable damage caused by COVID to the examination system (SSLC & PUE Boards and other competitive exams) driving the administration and the students crazy as to how will they be able to come to a win-win situation.
We all know as parents and teachers that SSLC and PU exams, as often repeated, are very crucial to say the least. For all of us the present predicament is totally a big challenge. 8.40 lakh students, needing 43,720 class rooms at 2,879 centres, has been very ably, so far, handled by the men of the Department, says the Education Minister.
But this is no big issue for the experienced officers, under normal circumstances. But now it is so dangerous and frightening, as the pandemic is only showing the signs of reaching greater heights of devastation.
Therefore, I would like to suggest to the authorities through ‘SOM’ to reduce the exam-related trauma and trepidation in the minds of all concerned by holding the exams at the school-level itself. We all know what ethical and criminal blunders are committed whenever important exams are conducted. Why should there be a single Question Paper for the entire State ? Yes, many suspect the standard, veracity and morality etc., of such an experiment. Let us trust our teachers in whose hands we have trusted the future of our children.
There are many uncorrupt, honourable, respectable and dignified teachers in the system and, therefore, there are many upright officers in the society even today. Well, as a check-measure the papers can be set by the nearby schools and valuation also could be done by different schools with mutual co-operation.
The Board can also get some random answer scripts from each subject scrutinised to enforce justice to the students before announcing the results. There will be some lapses. But can we not excuse or ignore them? Has not the system forgiven its own lapses?
Our children are usually tensed about final exams. Now with the mandatory thermal screening, sanitisers and masks thrust on them, imagine the pressure load on their already harassed minds? You never know how the young minds will react to save the ignominy of a loss of face. So, let us show some well thought of generosity and not make it a prestige issue or an issue of trust and honesty or efficiency of the Department. There is still time for easing the tensions on many fronts, particularly preserving health of mind and body. Will someone take a bold step?
– Prof. K.V. Satyan, Camp: Dallas, Texas, 22.5.2020
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