- That the pandemic-induced school shutdowns over the last two years have scarred the student community pursuing various levels of education needs no further elaboration. The interim measures like online and hybrid learning had limited success is an undeniable fact too. This particular measure could only cater to a limited segment of students. Students from the rural areas were almost left in the lurch with very little and/or no means of accessing online pedagogy is well documented. Now that the situation is almost reverting to pre-pandemic levels, the student community is forced to face a challenging situation yet again for no fault of theirs.
PC: Katherine Boyarsky
- We all know how examinations for crucial Classes X and XII were conducted by the various boards in the last two years. Multiple choice questions, online exams, and subsequently offline but conventional exams left the entire student community in lots of confusion as also duress owing to uncertainty surrounding the issue. Even the various entrance exams to professional courses had to be twisted and tweaked to cater to the pandemic-related challenges bogging the education sector in the last two years. With confusion reigning supreme vis-à-vis entrance exams to professional courses, there was no letting up on the pressure being piled on the students already reeling under the burden of living up to the envisaged changes.
- It must be said that the authorities simply let down the student community through sheer lack of foresight, comprehension, and sensitivity whilst addressing the matter. As you are aware, the National Testing Agency introduced the Common University Entrance Test (CUET) ostensibly to help students get enrolled into universities for higher studies seamlessly. The CUET exams are underway as we read this article. Now, the NTA recently said the CUET exam will now go on till August 28. People closely pursuing the matter would be aghast at the plight of the Class XII students as this year feels like a never-ending nightmare of exam dates for them.
PC: Haraprasad Das
- Note that in CUET’s second phase, major technical glitches have turned out to be the main culprit. There have been server issues, snags in downloading papers, security protocol failures, and late on Friday NTA cancelled exams at around 10% of the centres as well. The reason attributed is administrative/logistics/technical, but its own under-preparation is the main worry point here. Remember, unlike JEE-Main which has only two papers, CUET tests 54,000 unique subject combinations. Naturally, the latter demands a more complex IT architecture and sturdier infra.
- The moot point to ponder over now is whether centres that got delisted in the idle of the exam cycle – setting up affected students for fresh rounds of uncertainty – should have been deemed fit in the first place. Since the plans are afoot to hold CUET twice from the next academic year, investing in system upgrades is inevitable too. Needless to mention, placing students’ peace of mind first should be prioritized. Thus, finding effective alternatives should be diligently pursued without compromising on the students’ welfare and well-being any further.