Vaccination VS cancellation of CBSE boards: What are students saying after PIL in Delhi HC seeks inoculation for all taking exams

The Central Board of Secondary Education had cancelled the Class 10 exams owing to the pandemic situation, however, the decision for Class 12 is yet to be taken on June 1
Image for representation | Pic: Express
Image for representation | Pic: Express

A PIL in the Delhi High Court on Friday urged it to direct the Central Government and Delhi government to vaccinate all students, especially the Class 12 CBSE students, who would be appearing for the upcoming board examinations. The Central Board of Secondary Education had cancelled the Class 10 exams owing to the pandemic situation. However, the decision for Class 12 is to be taken on June 1, the education ministry had said earlier this month.

Students across the country have been demanding for all the board exams to be cancelled as the number of COVID-19 cases has been rising exponentially. Seerat Mehra, a Commerce student from the Convent of Jesus and Mary School, New Delhi, tells us that vaccination is really the answer even though it is not a foolproof solution. "To some extent, this may be the solution. But not completely, as we have seen people testing positive even after getting both the doses. So, the risk remains. The number of students affected in the second wave is huge too. I don't think vaccinating students is going to reduce the fear among students and parents in going to the crowded exam centres and taking the test while thousands are dying of COVID.  I feel that there is a need now for the exams to be cancelled. However, they are important too for us to get admission to colleges, we are in quite a conflicting situation. If the board exams are conducted, they should be done at a time when the cases at least start coming down. Otherwise, the government has to come with an alternative method of evaluation," she adds.

Another CBSE student from Chennai agrees. "Cancellation of exams should be the choice now as the cases are rising exponentially across the country. Internal marks or school exams can be taken into consideration if the exams are finally cancelled. Vaccination is not open for people below 18 yet and with the shortage, it might be difficult to inoculate so many students across the country," the student, who wished to remain anonymous told us.

Shambhavi Dubey, another CBSE student from Delhi feels that it is impossible to vaccinate so many students in such a short time. "I think it's impossible to vaccinate all the students in such a short time, there's so much shortage all around. It won't solve the problem as you can be affected even after getting both the doses, it takes staying at home, wearing masks and following protocol to prevent the virus from affecting anyone. I also feel it won't be convenient for students to sit in a classroom without air-conditioners, wearing all kinds of protection, during the hottest summer months of Delhi. I am 18, I got vaccinated a few days ago and the side effects are enough to make you weak. There are kids who might not be medically fit to take the vaccines. What about them? There are other ways to evaluate and the government has to think about it," she says.

Speaking on why postponing the boards is also not helping, Shambavi says that it is also "hampers the plans of those students who wish to go abroad to study further. I have friends who got admission outside but can't go now as their classes began and they couldn't submit their mark sheet at the correct time," she says.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jasmeet Singh issued notice to the ministries of Health and Education and the Delhi government seeking their stand on the plea by three lawyers. The court also asked whether the COVID-19 vaccines being used now can be administered to those below 18 years of age.

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