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Think of our wellbeing please

Dear Education Ministry, You are not proposing the conduction of board examinations. No. You are proposing that amidst a worldwide pandemic,...

Dear Education Ministry,

You are not proposing the conduction of board examinations. No. You are proposing that amidst a worldwide pandemic, students step outside the safety of their homes and march to their deaths. You are proposing that students risk their lives from the comfort of your home. It pains me to bear witness to this cruel act you are so easily and willingly committing against innocent children who have tried their best to hold onto their sanity while the world spins out of control. Thousands are reported dead daily, children are scared out of their wits at the prospect of losing parents, grandparents and loved ones: Adults who have raised them in this world and taught them everything they know. There are students who have already lost loved ones, without the ‘liberty’ of losing any more. Students who have one parent or grandparent yet, hanging on by merely a thread. Yet, you pay no heed to their concerns and their efforts to try and show you what a horrible mistake you are making.

How can you ask them to sit and study for an examination and expose themselves to this deadly virus in times such as these? How can you demand the best of their academic capabilities in circumstances such as these? How can you ask them to expel everything from their minds except thoughts of calculus, electricity and atoms in the face of a pandemic such as Covid-19?

With the news everyday that thousands more are dying, with a fully vaccinated country seen nowhere in the near future, how can you ask these students to come and write exams multiple times in rooms full of classmates? How can you put a high school examination before a human life? University and opportunities for our future will come time and again, but once a life is lost it cannot be revived. 

It is about time that the education system upon which our country stands realizes that you can’t reduce a student's life to a single moment - board examinations. A student’s worth and eligibility to attend various colleges can’t be determined by one examination. Their abilities should be examined based on the continual efforts they exhibit throughout their lives. Their abilities should be examined based on their development in their academic lives over the course of their high school years. They have written examinations in class X and XI. They have written examinations in class XII itself as well preparing for the ‘most important examination of their lives’. So why can’t those be taken into account? How can a 17-year-old be defined by a three-hour test? 

Thousands of children have lost their loved ones to this horrific pandemic. Their lives have been forever altered and their hearts have been shattered. They will never be the same again and will suffer with this trauma to the end of their days. Yet, you are condemning lakhs of students to risk the same fate.

Who will be responsible when children start falling ill and catch this virus? Who will be responsible when these students can’t attempt the rest of the board examinations? Who will be responsible when these children can’t even seek medical help because hospitals are swamped and understaffed, oxygen cylinders are nowhere to be seen and medical bills have skyrocketed beyond their price point? Who will be responsible when these children close their eyes for the last time and the world loses yet another precious life? What university, what future matters when the child is dead?

Furthermore, for students leaving the country for their higher education, the deadline for their high school matriculation is fast approaching. In the name of making decisions such as forcing students to write these exams for their “future”, with the timeline we have been given - many students will have to face dire consequences with how late we will be graduating. Being forced to reapply, repay and redo the whole college application process is tiring, expensive and completely avoidable. 

We earnestly implore you to reconsider your decision and think of us. Try and imagine yourself in our shoes. Try and consider the state we are in. We have lost the chance of experiencing the final year of schooling. We did not get the opportunity to create memories in the classroom with friends and teachers. We could not bid our classmates adieu for the last time. We did not get the chance to walk through the halls of our schools for the last time and receive our graduation certificates with cheers and applause from the ones we hold near to our hearts. We have tried to study and learn throughout the year through the online mode while also avoiding contracting the virus and worrying about family and friends who have but it has been difficult. This is, at the end of the day, a situation where death and disease can be completely evaded if chosen; We can only hope you choose right. We truly pray and hope that you will give us the respite we so truly deserve and cancel these board examinations.

Thank you for your time.

-Vedika Agarwal and Sannidhi Krovvidi,

Class XII CBSE students


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