The Andhra Pradesh government is firm on going ahead with Intermediate and SSC exams as per schedule, notwithstanding the increasingly alarming Covid situation in the State. Inter examinations are to be held from May 5 to 19, and SSC from June 7 to 16. It is but natural for parents and students to be concerned though none has vociferously opposed the government decision. A cursory glance at the Covid figures shows cases are surging by the day. The state has been recording single-day spike records daily and the number of cases registered this year crossed the one lakh mark on Wednesday. Fatalities too are rising with over 50 people succumbing to the deadly virus almost every other day.
The government has revived several restrictions, including stipulating only 50% occupancy in buses, and declared summer holidays for school students. Under these circumstances, how prudent is it to press ahead with Inter examinations since the situation is unlikely to drastically improve within a week? There is a month’s time for SSC exams and as the government rightly pointed out, there is no need to cancel them right now. But for Intermediate first and second year students and their parents, the exams coupled with fears of Covid spread present a big challenge.
Education Minister A Suresh took great pains to allay fears, explaining the steps being taken at the 1,452 exam centres across the state. The government’s contention is that cancelling the exams could adversely affect the students’ future. It is an easy decision to call them off, he pointed out, while stressing the need to stick to the schedule despite the pandemic in the interests of the students. But cancellation is not the only option available! Why can’t the government defer Inter examinations by a few weeks when the situation may stabilise?
Several state governments, including Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Punjab, have either cancelled or deferred examinations. The Centre too has scrapped CBSE Class 10 Board exams and postponed Class 12 exams. Even now, it is not too late. The state government ought to rethink and postpone Inter exams. Better safe than sorry.