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POSTPONEMENT OF EXAMINATION : IMPACT ON FUTURE OF THE STUDENTS

Exhausted student girl lying on the floor among textbooks, tests and gadgets, copy space. Woman holding head with hands, got tired while preparing for exams. Education and overworking concept

Author: Advocate Shwetal Shepal, B.COM. LL.B.

ABSTRACT

The first wave of the COVID 19 had disastrous effects world wide, thereby affecting the livelihood of the people, economy, health care system, education system. As the people were just trying to cope with the situation, and as if this was not sufficient the second wave hit India. Everyone knows the current condition of the country owing to the COVID 19 situation, the health care system has totally collapsed, there is a downfall in the economy, it has also impacted education system at large and now the deadly second wave of the covid 19, has once again led the country towards Lockdown. This in turn has resulted in the postponement of the examination of all the students in the country, yet again hindering their career. In this blog we will understand how and to what extent the postponement of examinations impacts the future of the students.

Earlier, in 2020 when the Lockdown was imposed for the first time in India during the month of March which led to closing down of all schools/colleges and which resulted into postponement of exams that caused panic situation among the students and parents, the exams then were held in the month of September through online Mode as the e-learning became the new normal, which led to the delay in the admissions process for the further studies, and hence it delayed the beginning of the current (2021) academic year. Once again due to rising covid cases in the country the central and state government announced cancellation of 10th exams postponement of the class 12th and various other exams[1] which would again cause dispersion among the education system.

Now let’s understand the impact of postponement of examinations on students -:

Impact on mental health

This pandemic had a detrimental effect on the mental health of the students. Due to schools and colleges being closed, students were getting used to the online learning programme, many were preparing for the competitive entrance exams along with their current year examination preparation. And as we all know that students are under peer pressure while preparing for their exams as well as during the exam. Hence the postponement of examinations has resulted into the stress and depression among the students, as everything is uncertain and their career is at stake. “Some students were already experiencing depression as a result of online classes and social distancing, so this postponement has caused a dire effect on their mental health.”[2]

Mental health issues are like barriers to the academic success of the students as it affects their motivation, due to the stress students find it difficult to concentrate on their studies. As per the survey that was conducted in us in 2019, it states that around 71% students were experiencing stress and anxiety.[3]

“Similarly a detailed survey was conducted in India pertaining to the mental health of students which shows that about 25% of students are negatively affected by the outbreak and have experienced an above average level of stress. Of these students, 6% have experienced severe stress, and around 45% mild stress. The below given chart represents the mental health of the students.” [4]

Impact of postponement of various examination on students future plans/ career

The postponement of the class 12th examination adversely affects the aspirants of various competitive exams. As on the basis of these exams the students secure their admissions in the respective courses. The current situation has made everything uncertain thereby affecting the academic year of the students.

Competitive exams like the two-tier JEE and NEET (UG) are high-stake entrance exams for getting admission in engineering and medical colleges respectively. It is expected that the NEET examinations would also get delayed with respect to the current situation[5]. Although the postponement of class 12th examination would have less impact on the aspirants of the JEE, as learning from the previous year’s experience, this year the NTA is offering four attempts to the JEE.[6]

There are various government exams which require a student to be a graduate before a certain date, they don’t consider the delay in the college exams, thus putting students’ future in jeopardy.

Many students plan to study overseas, but now due to the delayed examinations as a result of covid predicament has once again hampered their plans, many are anxious regarding their future career. A survey was conducted in October 2020, which shows that although the students are anxious they haven’t given up on their plans of studying abroad. On an average, the pandemic has impacted more than 50% of study abroad aspirants and it is unquestionable that the movement of students has been immensely affected.[7]

What are the reactions of parents and students regarding the exam postponement?

There are mixed reactions from the students and parents about the postponement. Some are happy, some disappointed. Some students are on the verge of mental breakdown studying the same syllabus for the millionth time. Some students stated that as they were preparing for the final exams and gearing themselves up for their new chapter in life, they are also worried about the fact that their board exam might clash with their entrance exams.

Now imagine that one has to catch a train. He leaves his home and after tackling heavy Mumbai traffic for long hours, sweaty self, hungry heart, he manages to reach the station on time. And as soon as he reaches, he is notified that the train got postponed/delayed due to unforeseen circumstances. That’s exactly what grade 12th students are feeling right now. Parents are also on the border line of the breakdown as they can’t see their kids under stress. Although the parents are happy about the fact that their kids won’t have to go and give exams in the middle of the pandemic, they are also worried about what the future holds for their kids.

Now let’s take a look on the reaction from the education experts -:

Shishir Jaipuria, Chairman, Seth Anandram Jaipuria Group of Educational Institutions, Ghaziabad, says, “A sensible decision, given the rise in cases across the country. Thoughtful of the Board to be flexible and extend an opportunity to the Class X students to reappear at a later stage if they wish to. It’s also a decision in the best interest of Class XII, but they should now just decide and fix a date to avoid any further uncertainty, and hence, anxiety in the children. Having fixed this date, they should not lose any time and plan and prepare for an alternative mode of assessment in the event the rise in cases continues. No further postponement should be made.”[8]

As per Dr Usha Reddy, Principal and CEO of Meridian School at Banjara Hills in Hyderabad postponing Class 12 exams and cancelling Class 10 exams is a brilliant move

“Nothing is worth risking children’s lives. In the last month, unlike last year, we have been seeing more cases of children getting infected by the coronavirus – even those that weren’t going to schools. So, it would have been risky to be having exams in such a scenario,” she says.[9]

C Naga Surya Teja, who runs Jupiter Academy for NEET (Medical) and IIT JEE coaching in Chennai says that , “If you look at the bright side, students get more breathing space and preparation time. But the delay will slow down everything including the results process, counselling, admission process etc,”[10]

So, from the above given views it is clear that the decision of the postponement of class 12 exams and various other exams and cancellation of class 10th exams has been welcomed in the light of the growing cases of covid 19 in the country.

Conclusion 

The only impact of the postponement of examinations on the future of the students is the delay in the admission process thereby delaying the beginning of the next academic year. There’s no doubt about the fact that the novel coronavirus has cost us one year of the students lives, but it is also necessary to understand that this was inevitable as the health of the students needs to be given utmost importance, there’s no point in risking the lives of the students in order to take the examination, as remember you can achieve anything in your life only if you are alive. So the reason behind the government’s decision regarding the postponement of examinations is in the interest of the students. Hon’ble PM Modi also said that -” the well being of students has to be the top priority for the government”[11]

Now about the impact of these on the mental health of students, this pandemic has undoubtedly affected everyone’s mental health for various reasons. The solution as to how students can cope with this situation is that they should focus on other activities as well along with their studies for the relaxation, may be read a book , sing dance, write blogs and articles, or apply for work from home internships, they should prepare a proper timetable so as to plan their day accordingly which will help them to revise the syllabus and work on the things they are weak at, as now is the time to do everything that they couldn’t do, parents should also encourage their kids in indulging themselves into various fun activities while sitting at home rather than pressuring them to study.


REFERENCES

 

  1. 10th, 12th Board Exam Status: List of states that have cancelled or postponed board exams,TIMES OF INDIA, ( Apr. 15, 2021, 9.37 am) https://m.timesofindia.com/home/education/news/10th-12th-board-exam-status-list-of-states-that-have-cancelled-or-postponed-board-exams/amp_articleshow/82077760.cms.

  2. Valerie J. Calderon, U.S. Parents Say COVID-19 Harming Child’s Mental health, GALLUP,(Jun. 16,2020)https://news.gallup.com/poll/312605/parents-say-covid-harming-child-mental-health.aspx.
  3. Changwon son, Sudeep Hegde, Farzan Sasangohar, Effects of COVID-19 on College Students’ Mental Health in the United States: Interview Survey Study, JOURNAL OF MEDICAL RESEARCH (Sept. 3, 2020), https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7473764/#__ffn_sectitle.
  4. Bijoy chhetri et. al, Estimating the prevalence of stress among Indian students during the COVID-19 pandemic: A cross-sectional study from India, SCIENCEDIRECT (Jan18,2021), https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1658361221000032.
  5. ANI Press Release, Will NEET 2021 UG Exams be postponed again? Here’s How to prepare with no updates on application process ,BUSINESS STANDARD, ( May, 03,2021 , 11.21 pm ) https://www.business-standard.com/content/press-releases-ani/will-neet-2021-ug-exams-be-postponed-again-here-s-how-to-prepare-with-no-updates-on-application-process-121050300763_1.html.
  6. Geetika Mantri, Shreedevi Jayaranjan, How postponing the class 12 exam will affect the academic year, THE NEWSMINUTE (Apr.14, 2021, 9.32pm), https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/how-postponing-class-12-exams-will-affect-academic-year-147139.
  7. Subhashri Roy, COVID 19 Impact : what lies ahead for study abroad aspirants?, COLLEGE DEKHO (Feb. 4, 2021, 1.01 pm), https://www.collegedekho.com/study-abroad/articles/covid-impact-on-study-abroad-aspirants/.
  8. Nita Samantaray, CBSE Class 10 board exams 2021 cancelled, Class 12 board exams postponed – Reaction from Education experts, TIMES NOW NEWS (Apr. 15, 2021, 6.45), https://www.timesnownews.com/education/article/cbse-class-10-board-exams-2021-cancelled-class-12-board-exams-postponed-reaction-from-education-experts/745268.
  9. Ibid.
  10. Ibid.
  11. Ramesh Pokhriyal, PM wanted well-being of students to be top priority’ TIMES OF INDIA, (Apr.15,2021,7.46pm)https://m.timesofindia.com/india/pm-wanted-well-being-of-students-to-be-top-priority/amp_articleshow/82076704.cms.

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