wrong-timed board exams

At around the same time last week on January 21, the education ministry issued a notification through its Facebook page that the board examinations for class X and XII will be conducted as scheduled – from February 14- 28, 2022.

It stated that the decision had been reached after a high level virtual consultative meeting the ministry had with the Prime Minister and Health Minister on January 20.

However, Foreign Minister Dr Tandi Dorji, who appeared on BBS TV to provide an update of the Covid-19 situation in the country on January 25, said schools with classes X and XII will wait until January 30 for the government’s directives on how to proceed with the board exams.

The minister added that the board exams might also get deferred if the situation does not improve.

The problem, therefore, is not so much so with the education ministry’s notification, but it is with the timing the ministry issued the notification.

As many places in the country were/are still under the recently-announced lockdown when the notification was issued and many people were bearing the complications and problems that come with the lockdown, the education ministry’s notification only alarmed and further intensified problems for the people.

And especially for those parents and guardians, whose pockets have been literally squeezed trying to feed the family members and keep the homes running, and who have sons and daughters, it gave them an extra reason for worry. The problem was not only about getting the resources and the means to sustain the family during the lockdown, but also now on getting on with the preparation to send one’s son/daughter to school.

If the government’s directives on how to proceed for schools with classes X and XII were to come only on January 30, as mentioned by the foreign minister, a sensible thing, therefore, is that the education ministry’s should have been sensible about the timing of its notification and should not have created the unnecessary panicking and apprehension among people, especially during a lockdown.

Further, the present situation with the board exams for class X and XII also shows the short-sightedness and unpreparedness of the education ministry. At around the same time last year we had a similar lockdown. And a month before the present lockdown, there were already reports of the Omicron variant of coronavirus ragging through the world. Aware that there are the board exams, the ministry should have been prepared beforehand and even planned strategies on how to go about with the exams should there be a lockdown. Some more preparation could have solved many of the problems confronted by our parents, students and teachers today. These students, parents and teachers, therefore, should not face the repercussion of the failure of the ministry for not having formulated appropriate strategies accordingly.