Published: 12th April 2021
AISA writes to Ramesh Pohriyal on behalf of students to cancel or postpone CBSE exams amid rising COVID wave
It is the duty of the government to protect the lives of young people. Ideally, the students, teachers and school staff should have been vaccinated, the AISA wrote in the letter
The All India Students' Association on Sunday sent a letter to Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal detailing the concerns raised by students of Classes 10 and 12, who are appearing for the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) exams this year. Students from across the country have purportedly written to AISA through emails and on social media demanding the cancellation of exams or to postpone them until the COVID-19 wave is controlled and it is deemed safe to take the exam. For now, they want an alternative mechanism to be devised by the Education Ministry for evaluation so that they don't lose an academic year. AISA, in their letter to the Ministry, has appealed to the CBSE and the minister to pay heed to students' demands and consider the views of other stakeholders — teachers, parents and school staff in deciding the future course of action.
N Sai Balaji, AISA National President told us they have been receiving emails, comments on social media posts from several students groups on Twitter demanding the cancellation of the exams or at least postponement as they are worried about the new COVID-19 strain. "We have been receiving these emails for some time now. After sending the letter, we have also begun collecting signatures from CBSE students online to raise their concerns and alert the board and the ministry. Our aim is to collect 10,000 signatures," he added. AISA has already collected over 3,500 signatures as of Monday morning.
"It is the duty of the government to protect the lives of young people. Ideally, the students, teachers and school staff should have been vaccinated before the start of schools and board examinations. Considering how the Central government has failed in addressing issues of vaccine approval, production and distribution, it is prudent that the Modi government listens to the concerns of students and their parents. Many state governments have been implementing partial lockdown and there are reports about implementing full lockdown. In this scenario of uncertainty, students are facing mental agony and are facing issues of anxiety," the students' organisation wrote in their letter.
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"The media has been reporting how lack of hospital beds both in private and government hospitals along with reports of lack of oxygen cylinders are causing deaths across the country. The speed of infection has brought many states and cities to a standstill. Reports of vaccine shortages across states have caused the process of vaccination a be halted. Similarly, there is no clarity and transparency on the vaccine production and distribution process. The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has written to the Prime Minister asking him to expand the vaccination to everyone aged above 18 years. Numerous medical experts, researchers and doctors have been demanding the Modi government to approve emergency authorisation and usage of other vaccinations likewise are Pfizer, Moderna and others in India after taking necessary steps and protocols," the letter also added.