Final-year students in the country have expressed apprehensions about appearing for their examinations which are expected to take place in the coming months. Citing health and safety issues amid coronavirus pandemic, students have been pressing for cancellation of the final year exams. Unleashing their concerns on social media, students are also voicing other challenges like anxiety and stress that they continue to face. Raising similar concerns, the India Wide Parents' Association wrote a letter to the Ministry of Home Affairs, Health Ministry, and HRD Ministry. "I request the government to not conduct exams during such a situation and find out an alternate way for the same until the situation is under control or promote the students based on their internal assessment. Saving the life of students is more important right now," the letter undersigned by the association's chief Anubha Shrivastava Sahai urged. The letter cited concerns mainly arising out of the latest development from the World Health Organisation (WHO) that acknowledged emerging evidence on the airborne spread of COVID-19.
KEY ISSUES RAISED BY THE PARENTS' ASSOCIATION:
- Parents are very worried as cases are rising and proper medical facility is also not available so they are very stressed as to how to visit the examination center during such a situation. The situation is very alarming and getting worse day by day and any such decision will put the life of lakhs of students at risk.
- The guidelines issued by MHA on June 29 for conducting an exam need to be reviewed due to the recent developments about COVID-19 being airborne. In containment zones and non-containment zone also, it is not possible practically to conduct exams as now cases will be rising due to airborne nature. Social distancing norms need to be revised.
- Students will be under a lot of stress during the exam and will be mentally and physically harassed.
- In the present COVID-19 situation, it is not a feasible option for students to sit and give exams. Many of the students studying in universities have returned to their hometowns in different states, so traveling back to states to give exams would not only endanger their lives but their parents' lives too.
- Non-availability of safe public transport to get to the examination hall. Not everyone can afford to rent a cab to give exams daily. Right now students are safe at their homes. The moment they are exposed, the chances of getting an infection are very high due to COVID-19 being airborne.
- Honorable Supreme Court has also taken suo moto cognizance, issuing notice to some states seeking status report of hospital infrastructure. Students in these states will suffer due to overburdened medical infrastructure if anything happens to them. Moreover, the Indian Railways also issued a notification for suspension of Central Railways and traveling in public transport will be very risky for these students. Students are not mentally and physically prepared for these exams.