Will the exams be a smooth affair?

WITH cessation of the anti-CAB agitations, parents and students felt emancipated that conduct of the class X, XI and XII examinations will face no disruption. Like in the past many years when various modes of agitations used to cause serious disturbance to the education sector and consequently affected preparation of the student candidates for these crucial annual examinations, this year too there was strong apprehension that the rage over the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill might unnerve the examinees, parents/guardians as well as the examination conducting authorities. Fortunately, the failure of the Bill to get past the Rajya Sabha test has paved the way for smooth conduct of the yearly exercise to examine the academic ability of the students. Even if there is apprehension that the Centre might make another bid to enact the Bill, civil society organisations that fiercely campaigned against the Centre’s move are unlikely to re-launch the agitation before completion of the examinations. In case of continuation of the agitation, decisions by the Board of Secondary Education Manipur and the Council of Higher Secondary Manipur to ensure commencement of the examinations before the Yaoshang festival might have been rendered a futile exercise. With exception to the class XI examination, which will continue till March 30 and is going to wind up after the five-day festivities, students appearing in the class X and XII examinations are unlikely to face much of a problem in focusing on their task at hand. As conduct of any examinations interrupted by a major and raucous festival like Yaoshang is known to distract the young candidates, the decision by authorities of both the Board and the Council for scheduling two out of the three examinations before the festival sets in deserved to be appreciated.
The only problem that the Board and Council officials might face is the manner in which the examinations are conducted. It needs no reminding that the ugly side of Class X and Class XII examinations had been the common phenomena of widespread copying inside the examination halls. Already, some students’ organisations have alleged that in some centres of the class XII examinations which got underway from Monday, some examinees were seen using unfair means. While the past trend of mass copying in examinations has declined to a great degree at the juncture due to concerted efforts and campaigns by students’ bodies as well as volunteers of local youth and women’s organisations maintaining strict vigil at examinations centres, the allegations over use of unfair means suggest that the art of deceiving the invigilators is far from being completely over. Examinations conducted in Manipur have seldom been free from unethical means as could be comprehended from reports about the examinees resorting to various ploys to pass the cerebral test and leakage of question papers. Such a trend also gives the impression that not everything is right in the current education system which is centred on scoring excellent marks. As young students are products of society it is obvious that if they start cheating at such a tender age, then it does not say something healthy about the future. Though successfully scaling examinations with higher grades makes one feel emancipated, such sense of superiority neither last long nor does it reflect one’s ability. There is also no denying the fact that education is a great builder and if it is deficient or decadent it can be a destroyer too. Hence, it is desirable that effective mechanisms be put in place to get rid of the copying phobia.

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