SRINAGAR: Class VII student Kashaf is facing a unique exam dilemma. For the last two years, she was promoted to the next class on her online class performance, which was basically a sham with parents helping her out during exams.
It was for the first time in two years that she was bracing up for a pen-and-paper exam in school. Since the government decided to shift the board exam to March, students up to class IX were left to fend for themselves.
Kashaf is preparing for the Unit II exam with no clarity about the term II exam which usually is held in October-November.
“Ideally, this time we should have been preparing for the term II exam. But we have jumped deadlines and are stuck at Unit II. Now, we do not know when our term II. which is a kind of final exam, will be held. I am unable to comprehend,” she said.
Kashaf is not an isolated case. Lakhs of students are in a fix over exam schedule this year. There are reports that the government may hold exams up to class IX by November. Yet there is no official communication, unlike the secondary and higher secondary level exams.
Director School Education Kashmir (DSEK) Tasaduq Hussain Mir told The Kashmir Monitor that they have submitted a proposal to the government for holding exams up to class IX by November this year.
“We have submitted a proposal to the government. The final call has to be taken by the government. We have proposed that this year’s exams should be held in November. From next year, the academic session can be shifted for all classes. Next year it will be a uniform academic calendar for all classes,” he said.
Post-pandemic, most of the schools announced mass promotion to the students. Some schools organized online tests and some gave papers to students with the instruction to attempt the questions at home and submit answer sheets.
A recent survey by the Ministry of Education has revealed that post-pandemic, enrollment in private schools has fallen in Jammu and Kashmir subsequently. On the other side, the roll of students in government-run schools has increased.
This is primarily because of the economic downturn. People belonging to the economically disadvantaged backgrounds of society have been hit hard due to the lockdown.
Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE) survey has revealed that the total enrolment in Jammu and Kashmir schools (1-12th standard) has increased to 1324301 students including 896848 students at the elementary level (1-8th), 200843 students at the secondary level (8-10th) and 226610 students at the higher secondary level (10-12th).
On the other hand, the total enrolment in private schools is 1240551students including 833011 at the primary level, 136345, and 49494 students at the secondary and higher secondary level, respectively.
“It is not students, even parents are stressed out. We have to answer queries of our wards when we do not know what is in store,” said Naseer Ahmad, a parent.