Friday May 27, 2022

Students brave heatwave as exams to continue till June

May 15, 2022

THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC did not just terribly impact students’ learning; it caused huge problems for those at the helm in terms of education arrangements.

Besides forcing online and distance delivery modes adoption, in most cases from scratch, to change in examination policies the pandemic ravaged education sector. This badly affected the countries like Pakistan where education has never been priority for any government.

We have a real widespread disruption in education caused by the pandemic and this multiplies when those at the helm act indifferent to the situation. In Punjab secondary and intermediate exams are conducted simultaneously by the nine exam boards across the province. Traditionally, these exams are held in March/April each year but this time these exams started, with Class-10th exams across Punjab, from May 10.

Evidence of climate change—we are braving sizzling temperatures on daily basis. It is becoming really hard for students to sit in the exams in scorching hot weather but who cares. This exam cycle will continue till June and obviously there is no respite in sight from searing heat. Our policymakers, unfortunately, love to work in isolation which at times leads to more problems for the stakeholders than to ease the same. Had anyone thought of examination woes of students before shifting exams from March to May? Or had there been deliberations to find ways to minimise the risks associated with the weather during exams? The matric and inter exams are held in two shifts - morning group from 8:30am to 11:00am and afternoon group from 1:30pm to 4:00pm. As compared to afternoon group, students of morning group are somewhat lucky as their peers are more vulnerable to heat strokes. The parents are worried and so are the teachers especially those performing duties at the exam centres. The complaints about lack of arrangements from students and teachers are usual despite ‘special’ circumstances.

There is a dire need to find ways to ease the problems of students presently appearing in exams and those ready for upcoming Class-9th, 11th and 12th exams till end June. This is really important as, unfortunately, many of these young kids have to fight exam stress and anxiety too. Academic circles are of the view that the ideal situation for the next year exams would be to revert to March/April cycle while for the ongoing exams one of the possibilities could be to limit the exam to morning group alone.