Priyanka Gandhi urges Education Minister to reconsider holding CBSE Board exam

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra during an election campaign rally. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, in a letter to Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal, has urged him to reconsider the government’s decision to conduct the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) Board examinations given the surge in cases in the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the letter, which she also tweeted, Ms. Vadra said it was shocking that despite the massive and uncontrolled rise in COVID-19 cases across the country and over 1 lakh new cases coming to light on a daily basis, the CBSE Board had issued a circular stating it was going ahead with the Board exams scheduled in May.

She said that the government should consider the apprehensions expressed by students and parents, which were well-founded under the present circumstances. “It will be practically impossible to ensure the safety of students at large and crowded exam centers. Additionally, given the nature and spread of the virus, it is not just the students who will be at risk but also their teachers, invigilators and family members who are in contact with them,” she wrote.

“The Government and the CBSE board might want to consider whether they are prepared to own the legal liability for students or others who might be severely affected by the disease in this manner,” Ms. Vadra added.

The responsibility of political leaders, she said, was to protect and guide the young. Moreover, she noted, with many States issuing guidelines against the assembly of large numbers of people in public places, the moral ground for holding the exam was tenuous.

To hold the exams at present would also impact the psychological well-being of students, she argued. “Being forced to sit for exams donning masks, gloves and other protective gear under the specter of a deadly disease will cause unnecessary anxiety to these children and impact their ability to perform as well,” Ms. Vadra added.

She suggested that the government should have a dialogue with schools, students and their parents to find a safer way out.

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Printable version | May 6, 2021 10:33:26 PM |

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