With the onset of the second wave of COVID 19, the situation remains grim in the country. Several state governments have imposed partial lockdowns and night curfews to curtail the virus. According to a research study published by the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), the second wave in India might peak by mid-May and around 3 lakh people might lose their lives to COVID 19 between April to June.
Keeping the situation of an increase in the number of covid19 active cases in the country, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has canceled the board exam for class 10 and postponed it for class 12. A digital town hall meeting conducted by the TDP National General Secretary Nara Lokesh with students, parents, and several experts from the state of Andhra Pradesh opined that public health is the more important at this point and both SSC and Inter exams should be canceled. In addition to that, Nara Lokesh has also written a letter to the Governor, Biswabhusan Harichandran requesting to cancel exams and save the lives of lakhs of students. But the state government seems to be determined. A high-level review committee chaired by Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy decided that the exams should be conducted according to schedule. Class 10 exams will be starting on June 6, where class 12 exams will be on from May 5.
AP CM does not want to #CancelAPboardExams2021 when 20 other States have canceled or postponed. Which section faces the biggest risk to their life?
— Lokesh Nara (@naralokesh) April 23, 2021
This decision was severely criticized by the students, parents, and opposition political parties in the state. TDP Chief and Ex-Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu in his press conference lambasted the government for choosing to conduct exams when there is a severe shortage of beds, oxygen cylinders, and medicines in the state. TDP has filed a PIL in the High Court for cancellation of the exams. Recently, three students studying in class 10 in Medivada Zilla Parishad school in Visakhapatnam district tested positive for COVID. Parents of the children have written a letter to the School Headmaster that they wouldn’t send their children to school. They are demanding the government to cancel exams.
Given the daily spike in cases, demand from parents and political parties only seems relevant, as the government canceled class 10 exams in 2020 when the situation was not as severe compared to the current situation. By choosing to conduct exams despite reports suggesting a spike in numbers, the government is actively choosing to put the lives of students at risk.