There is no clarity when schools and other educational institutions will reopen in this part of the globe including Jammu and Kashmir. Rather, it would be a fight against covid-19 pandemic that will decide the future. Even though the centre government clarified that it has not ordered the closure of the schools till December, the Education Minister made it clear that the educational institutions, closed since mid-March, will re-open only after discussion with the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Home Affairs “once the situation is conducive.”
In the present uncertain scenario, the government needs to have various plans ready as regards the examinations which are only a few months away. There is need to mull over choices and also put in place plans for hassle-free examinations, the mode and modulus of which shall also require to be formulated.
The usual paper pen exam would be a difficult task to conduct but it would be too early to rule it out as a possibility given the fact the final examinations for 10 and 12th classes among others are normally conducted in early November and afterwards. Given the fact that the government has already slashed syllabus by 30 percent for students from Class IX to XII to reduce course load in view of the extraordinary situation arising due to the coronavirus pandemic, mass promotion is ruled out as a viable option. Practically speaking, mass promotion is not a good solution given the fact that the students will face problems in their future prospects and the credibility of their certificates will remain questionable.
There is no doubt that the usual examination is the best option. However, it remains dependable on how the covid-19 pans out especially when both number of cases and deaths due to it are unrelenting. Already nearly 30000 people have been infected while around 565 people have succumbed to the virus so far in J&K. The government needs to look into alternatives and shall explore assessment based examination among the options for the benefit of the students. The modalities for assessment can be worked out by the authorities and may include online assignments etc. There can be several other options which needed to be worked out to avoid last minutes glitches in the interest of students who must be keen to be evaluated and move forward in a time-bound manner.