Published: 21st January 2022
Despite Karnataka edu minster's statement, SSLC students skeptical about exams due to COVID, syllabus issues
The Kalyana Karnataka region has historically not fared well in the SSLC exams and the woes brought upon by the pandemic are creating severe exam anxiety amongst students
With SSLC exams approaching fast (March 28 to April 11), students of the Kalyana Karnataka region have a lot to worry about. Apart from the many problems they are facing due to COVID-19, incomplete syllabus as a result of shortage of staff are also contributing to their list of issues.
According to the officials of the health department, over 2,000 children below 18 years of age have been infected with COVID-19 in the Kalyana Karnataka region in the last 20 days and a good number of teachers have also been hit by the infection in the last few days. This has impacted the attendance of the students, which has, in turn, affected the rate of vaccination among high school students, sources said.
Experts believe that COVID-19 might reach its peak by the end of February and rather than assuaging the children's worries, this has, in fact, put fear in the minds of SSLC students with regards to attending classes and continuing their studies. Apart from this, Bidar, Kalaburagi, Yadgir and Raichur districts of the Kalyana Karnataka region have been faring poorly in SSLC exams for over a decade as a result of a host of issues, including the acute shortage of teachers in subjects such as English, Science and Mathematics.
To make up for the shortage, the Department of Public Instructions has ordered to fill up 1,557 posts against the vacancies of 1,608 posts in high schools in seven districts of the Kalyana Karnataka region (Bidar, Kalaburagi, Yadgir, Raichur, Koppal, Vijayanagar and Ballari) by appointing guest teachers to these 1,557 vacant posts.
The order was issued in the first week of November and the process continued until the first week of January. According to the information available, the appointment of about 100 guest teachers is still pending due to a shortage of candidates. However, even as the guest teachers began taking classes from the first week of January, the third wave of COVID-19 hit the country.
What is also contributing to the crisis among teachers is the fact that the department had commenced the transfers of primary and high school teachers in December, which continued well into January. With teachers caught up with the transfer process, they are projected to take some time to settle with the new schools.
Given these factors at play, Chennabasava from Gadikeshwar village of Chincholi taluk says that the students of his village are not prepared to face exams as people have been deserting the village due to the threat of tremors. Manik from Dornalli of Shahapur taluk (Yadgir district) says that not even 40 per cent of the syllabus has been completed in his school. "Under such circumstances, how are we supposed to face exams?" he questions.