“I am glad that the authorities chose to solve the problem rather than prolonging the anxiety. Our children have spent 16 months studying in the same class. This now-exams-off-and-now-exams-on dilemma that they had been subjected to for the last two months was almost inhuman. The CBSE meeting, held earlier this month, only added to the uncertainty. Since the CISCE follows the CBSE, we were so worried over what was going to happen,” said Deepti Sengupta, a parent.
Students like Aditya Garai of Calcutta Boys’ School, who was hoping that he would be able to take his exams after preparing so hard, sounded disappointed. “Why couldn’t we have the abridged formula, with the main subjects and a reduced exam timing? Marksheets on the basis of internal evaluation would be extremely unfair because many students have resorted to unfair means. A retrospective evaluation will not help me either because one hadn’t taken the classroom exams so seriously in 2019 or earlier.”
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Devi Kar, director, Modern High School, felt the marksheets would be rationalized or normalized to allay the misgivings of inflated scores. “This decision to cancel ISC and CBSE was inevitable. I should think that after this experience, there will be a long-term formula regarding a 360 degree evaluation and our system would change for good.”
A Bengal bureaucrat said, “The government has shown responsibility before taking a decision. If our children went to crowded schools for exams, their vaccination should have had to be ensured first.”
Anumit Lahiri, a student of DPS New Town, said, “The boards have taken sensible decisions. It’s not the exams we are afraid of, but the virus itself.” He and his friends had initiated a hashtag campaign “novaccinenoexam” over the last few weeks.
“Last year, the students were only worried about being asymptomatic carriers and infecting their parents and grandparents. In the second wave, with so many youngsters contracting the Indian coronavirus variant, the fear of death was immediate for both students and teachers. Thank god, all the speculation has now ended,” said a teacher of La Martiniere for Girls. Srija Das, a parent, said, “We are glad that the government has listened to the thousands of voices and taken into account all stakeholders’ concerns.”