Exams on or off? Wait for PU, SSLC students

BENGALURU: While CBSE and ISC have called off their exams, students of the Karnataka State Board are waiting for the government to take a decision. The clamour for cancelling II PU and SSLC papers has grown after Tuesday’s development.

Primary and secondary education minister S Suresh Kumar said on Wednesday that an announcement would be made in two days. “Consultations are underway with all stakeholders, including educationists and parents. We will soon come to a conclusion keeping in mind the health and future of children,” he said.

Students and parents want the government to make up its mind quickly. “The classes for II PU and Std 10 began more than a year ago. Other states and education boards have finalised their policies, but we are still consulting people. Children are tired and anxious. They are unable to focus on anything else,” said Sumitha M, a parent of an SSLC student.


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The Karnataka State PU College Lecturers’ Association said that the exams should be cancelled in the wake of the Centre’s announcement. “We can consider SSLC and I PU marks. While the final exam of I PU was not held last year, there were mid-term papers and unit tests,” said association president Ningegowda AH.

HK Manjunath, who heads the Karnataka State High School Assistant Teachers’ Association, said that the government should wait for one more month. “If Covid-19 cases are still not under control, they should look at cancelling SSLC exams,” he added.

Niranjanaradhya VP, a senior fellow at the Centre for Child and the Law, National Law School of India University, also favours calling off Std 10 and II PU exams. “Cumulative performance records and scores in previous papers can be used to evaluate students. This will work because every field has a separate entrance test,” he said. “In the past 14 months, students have faced several hurdles and gaps in learning. In the next two to three months, these gaps should be filled.”

D Shashi Kumar, the general secretary of the Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka, believes the Centre’s decision to cancel Std 12 exams has set an unhealthy precedent. “How will children be evaluated? Exams must be held in the state with micro-planning at the school level, like last year,” he said.

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