The Union Education Ministry on April 16 had postponed the CBSE 12 board exams and cancelled the class 10 exams due to the steep surge in the COVID-19 cases in the country. While it was a huge relief for the class 10 students, the decision left the class 12 students in the lurch. Meanwhile, various reports say that the dates and the formats for the class 12 board exams will be announced on June 1, but the uncertainty looming over conducting the exam has had an adverse effect on the mental state of the students. Also, there are many entrance exams lined up which has added to their woes.
Adding to the pandemic’s ill effects on one’s mental health, the board exams being hung in between for the class 12 students have led them to feel demotivated to continue studying. Moreover, most of the students now have to give up their plans of studying in a particular college, or a particular course because they are unclear of what is the eligibility criteria now, and what are they supposed to prepare for, boards or entrances?
“The uncertainty of this situation has confused me to bits. I often feel helpless because I don’t know what should I study, for an entrance (the pattern of which we aren’t even sure of) or board exams. I have been feeling demotivated and often wondering that I may not end up in the college I want to,” says Yashodhara Kataki a student of Class 12 based in Guwahati.
In addition, COVID-19 cases and deaths in families and its consequences have also taken a toll on many students’ mental health.
“This pandemic has left me feeling drained. And the hopelessness of the situation has made career plans a blur. Also with our loved ones getting affected with covid, there’s absolutely no will left in me to sit down and study amidst such dire circumstances,” Shristi Phukan, a class 12 student of Gurukul Grammar Senior Secondary School, Guwahati told Headline8.
Many admit that lack of clarity has also affected their focus on examinations. “We are often told from a young age that class 12 is the most important year for students. Board exams usually get over by the month of March but this year it was postponed to May. As the second wave hit India exams were further postponed but this time we weren’t given a datesheet. This caused a lot of uncertainty as news outlets wrote articles that the exams will likely be cancelled for class 12 (like it was cancelled for class 10). Due to this I couldn’t prepare for the exams with the fullest of my ability and now there are reports of CBSE looking to conduct exams in the coming months as cases are declining in India. This confusion and lack of clarity from board officials has made me feel depressed and anxious about my future,” says Dorik Kashyap a concerned class 12 student from Guwahati.
And not just the students, Parents have been equally affected as well. Parents are constantly worried as the board decides their children’s future.
“My child was very determined to score a good percentage in her class 12 boards but now due to the prevailing situation she feels that conduction of class 12 board exams is just an additional burden if entrances are going to be held. She has become really stressed and is often facing sleepless nights due to worry. We are getting anxious,” one of the parents told Headline8.
Meanwhile, a section of students and parents have been protesting on social media seeking the cancellation of the exam. If speculations in the circle are to be believed, CBSE is planning to conduct the class 12 board exams from Mid July, however, the official decision in this regard will be out in June first week based on the present assessment of the COVID situation.