Published: 09th November 2021
Over 300 NIOS students in the lurch as they received no study materials, but have exams on November 12
Many of them had sent several emails to NIOS in the earlier months. However, there has been no response from the authorities, neither did they receive their books
Merely a few days after the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) released admit cards for the Class 10 and Class 12 board exams, some students protested in front of the NIOS headquarters in Delhi asking the exams to be cancelled. Why? They said that the NIOS failed to send them study material and they are now caught off guard with exams scheduled on November 12.
Kumkum Pal, who is a Class 12 Science student, said, "When we were protesting at the NIOS, the authorities admitted that a small percentage of students haven't received any books. They told us that the books would be provided immediately. What is the point of it now with exams in a few days?"
The protest was held on November 8 — up until then, there was a social media campaign against NIOS that began soon after the exam dates were announced in mid-October. A group of activists and NIOS students had submitted a memorandum to the NIOS on October 27. The memorandum has been acknowledged by the NIOS authorities with a stamp. "The authorities responded to the memorandum verbally then and there itself and told us that the exams won't be cancelled. They said that it would be taken in MCQ format. By the end of it, MCQs will come from books which we were not provided with," Kumkum said. But why wait till the last moment to raise the red flags?
Making it public
Priyanka Thakur, a Class 12 Arts student, said that most of them had no idea that Twitter could be used as such an effective tool to express grievances. "It was just luck that a lot of us joined Twitter last month. We had no idea that Twitter is used for protest and activism. We didn't know how to protest. It was probably too late by then," Thakur said. These NIOS students from various parts of the country are now a part of a Telegram group where they are trying to help each other as much as possible. There are nearly 300 of them.
Many of them had sent several emails to NIOS in the earlier months. For instance, a parent of one student sent an email to the authorities in April with a subject line 'Please send books' and the address in the body along with the fee payment receipt.
The "farce" of online lectures
NIOS has a YouTube channel where online lectures are uploaded. "It is a farce. The videos are of poor quality and the sound quality is bad too. We fail to grasp anything," Komal said. This sentiment was echoed in an email sent to the NIOS by Raghav Gupta, a Class 12 art student. Raghav wrote, "Teachers are reading out from a set template. They are not explaining anything." Gupta added, "It is like they are making a fool out of us. There are videos of one or two minutes that claim to be a live session."
We made attempts to reach out to NIOS but were unable to get a comment.