Editorial

Educational lockdown

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 7/28/2020 1:22:54 PM IST

 Those who have passed the HSLC and HSSLC examinations 2020 under the Nagaland Board of Secondary Education (NBSE) are literally in a limbo due to the unforeseen situation created by the nationwide lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic. The careers of 15,680 students who have sailed through the HSLC and 14,652 students who have also passed the HSSLC examinations are at stake. Successful HSLC and HSSLC candidates are not attending classes since all educational institutions are closed. University classes have also been suspended owing to the lockdown. Today, normal life throughout the world has been brought to standstill due to the pandemic. All examinations across the educational spectrum are suspended including competitive exams. Internationally renowned educational institutes are also closed. Students who are caught in the limbo face an uncertain future. Some of them do not have a result because exams either did not happen or were left in the middle. The dreams and plans have gone adrift and their future has been dimmed because their next steps further education or careers are dependent upon them clearing their school or college leaving exams. And when that will be and how, are questions that remain to be answered. In the absence of hard academic indicators such as grades and marks, many of these students find themselves in a situation where they are unable to differentiate themselves and lack a cohesive framework to get themselves ready for the jobs and education tasks they face next. The dilemma is exemplified by the recent July 6 circular issued by the University Grants Commission (UGC) which directed all the universities across the country to conduct the examinations for the final semester students by September 30, 2020, in the online, offline, or in both the modes as per the convenience of the university. Amid rising criticism and concern over health of the students over UGC’s decision to make final year exams compulsory, the commission (under the ministry of HRD) wants to push this idea but it cannot do it on its own. Many colleges and universities are not in favour of the UGC directive due to practical reasons. This has only left college and university students in a bigger quandary not only because of the Covid-19 pandemic but because they also face a big challenge of proving themselves for their next journey. The Supreme court held a hearing of the pleas filed in challenging the circular released by the UGC. The plea was filed seeking a cancellation of the final examinations of the students due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. The hearing has now been scheduled for July 31, 2020. Not only students but everyone has been caught unprepared by the extent and magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, since all educational institutions remain closed, classes are held online with parents compelled to assume the role of teachers and fast becoming savvy with resources created for home-schoolers to cause minimal disruption to their children’s education. No doubt, it is the only option to ensure that learning is not disabled though it comes with extremely limited contact with friends and virtually no physical activity. The issue of whether or not to conduct examinations will depend on the response from the parents and institutes. While acknowledging both views-UGC and others-what is distinct is that COVID-19 has opened the door wider for home schooling and emphasis on self-dependency in learning instead of listening to lectures.

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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