New Delhi: Over 8,000 parents have written to Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan urging him to direct the CBSE to provide a hybrid option for board exams in view of concerns raised by a new variant of COVID-19.
"It is pertinent to note that COVID strain Omicron has sent panic wave across the country, especially (for) parents and young students. Government of India, the WHO and various other competent authorities have issued advisories understanding the serious gravity of situation," the joint letter said.
Conducting offline exams under these conditions can invite medical catastrophe, the letter said, adding that it is going to be risky to call lakhs of students across the country for giving the exam in offline mode.
"Students are not vaccinated yet, and about 3 per cent to 4 per cent of them are being tested positive for the virus despite getting vaccinated. It is estimated that Covid virus is going to spread even more because of the festive season and the exams scheduled right after that become a super-spreader event if the same is conducted only in offline mode," it said.
The letter claims that since the entire mode of education was online, fairness and propriety requires that students should get an option for online examination to ensure fair assessment.
"As per your existing policy, students were supposed to come only when parents gave their consent, keeping their health or life in mind. It is beyond reason and tends to become arbitrary when this policy is not extended to examinations as well, when the very objective of fair examination is to facilitate fair assessment of student concerned.
"Right to life or health shall be the priority while evaluating students of the CBSE. Lack of choice and undue advantage is also putting a lot of students under pressure. It is common knowledge that some states are still under red zone and hence, offline examination across India would only lead to violation of the extant Covid protocols," the letter said.