October 21, 2020

Panchayat by polls a bigger concern than exams?

Advancing examinations just for facilitating the conduct of the proposed panchayat bye elections in time is yet another decision attracting provocation from the students preparing for secondary class examinations to be conducted by J&K Board of School Education (J&K BOSE).  Giving short time to students for preparing themselves for the examinations of  the crucial classes is a decision which by all standards of  understandabilities goes in conflict with the academic interests of the students as this year government is obliged to give more time to students for preparing themselves for the final examination keeping in view the mental stress triggered by the COVID-19 outbreak in March this year . Knowing that the examination of students by all standards of understandabilities have to be preferred over both democracy and development, the government should have deferred panchayat polls by few more months keeping in view the commencement of the chilly season of winter after the completion of board examinations this year. Students have though overcome  the challenges of longest ever lockdown amid COVID-19 infection threat in mid academic session this year, but the announcement of advancing examinations by either J&K BOSE or universities of Kashmir would push them into yet another phase of mental stress ahead of the commencement of examinations. Advancing examinations for panchayat bye elections shows that examination authorities are tending to be cruel to students just few weeks before the commencement of their examinations. If at all the government has an unavoidable compulsion in holding Panchayat bye elections in short time of just two moths, it should have taken on board all the stake holders particularly the parents and the teachers of both private and government run schools. A unilateral decision over the timing of examinations amid intensifying COVID-19 spread is not only irritating but is bound to evoke resistance from all the three stakeholders- the students, the teachers and the parents.

Keeping in view the concerns of the people over both preparation of students for the examinations and as well as the health issues triggered by the COVID-19 outbreak this year,  it has become both imperative and as well as unavoidable for the government to review it’s decision of advancing the examinations  as it goes in conflict with the academic interests of the students. 

Government can force the students of government run schools to take examinations on the dates to be announced by it but it can’t force the managements and students of private schools to agree to a schedule of dates for examinations which is inconvenient to them in view of the ongoing health emergency situation triggered by the outbreak of COVID-19 in march this year. Knowing that majority of the students are enrolled in private schools the government won’t find it easy to enforce it’s own date sheets for examinations over the students this year.  Keeping in view the concerns of the people over both preparation of students for the examinations and as well as the health issues triggered by the COVID-19 outbreak this year,  it has become both imperative and as well as unavoidable for the government to review it’s decision of advancing the examinations  as it goes in conflict with the academic interests of the students.

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