Education Minister Suresh Kumar’s ‘wait and watch’ comment draws flak

Parents, students say if CBSE, ICSE can cancel exams, then why is state waiting to gauge Covid situation before deciding
S Suresh Kumar (File photo | EPS)
S Suresh Kumar (File photo | EPS)

BENGALURU: Karnataka’s Primary and Secondary Education Minister S Suresh Kumar drew flak from parents and students for wanting to gauge the state’s Covid situation before deciding on canceling the second PU exams, conducted by the State PU Board. Earlier, the Centre decided to cancel the CBSE Class 12 Board exams and it was followed by ICSE too calling off the crucial exams.

On Tuesday, Suresh Kumar in a press release said that the academic status of those following the state syllabus, opinions on evaluation and considering the health of students, a decision will be taken at the earliest. No decision was taken as of Tuesday by the education department about the state board examinations, a top official told TNIE. “We were keenly watching the Government of India decision on CBSE Class 12 exams. We will hold discussions with stakeholders hopefully tomorrow (Wednesday),” the official said. An appropriate response will be given after considering the present situation, he added.

However, Twitterati chastised Suresh Kumar for showing no concern for state board students. Requests poured in to cancel the Class 10 SSLC and Second PU board exams in the State. “If they (CBSE and ICSE) don’t have the exams, then why for state? There should not be partiality in studies. We are not even well prepared for the examinations and we don’t know how the state will hold retrospective evaluation,” Bindu, a student of state board, said.

Meanwhile, Mansoor Ali Khan, General Secretary, Managements of Independent CBSE Schools Association (MICSA), said that the Centre’s decision is wise. “Exams are too risky. CBSE now has to come up with guidelines on how to evaluate the Class 12 students,” he added.There was a mixed response from parents and students. A parent told TNIE, “As a mom I am not happy, as my child is bright and was expecting 92 per cent. The preparations were done well. She also topped the pre-boards, and was expecting the same for the boards.”

“It’s about the safety of students. However, there should have been another option. We are concerned about how these students will decide on their next step as exams would have helped them get a clearer idea. Students might take their opportunity for granted because for us Class 12 exams have been a testing factor, and that is when we prepare best for the examination,” said C Jaiswal, whose son is in a CBSE board school.

However, anxiety still prevailed in some students about the evaluation process and how they would be graded. “I feel good, but scared of what the percentage is going to be as we do not know how it is being calculated and allotted. Exams were postponed for so long and there were meetings, but no final decision was taken. Finally, it is good to know all are going to be safe,” said Sanjana Nair, a CBSE student from Kendriya Vidyalaya.Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Higher Education Dr Ashwath Narayan, who lauded the Prime Minister’s announcement, was flooded with requests on social media to cancel VTU exams as well.

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