Parents in Kashmir concerned amid Omicron, seek substitute to offline exams

Irfan Tramboo
Srinagar, Dec 7: The parents whose wards are currently appearing in the examinations including those who are set to appear in the class 11 exams today expressed their apprehension in the wake of the new COVID-19 variant, Omicron stating that the administration needs to think over the conduct on the offline exams amid rising threats.
The concerned parents said that the authorities, as well as the school management, should come up with an alternative for the offline examinations that are currently being held even so more students are going to appear in the upcoming exams, particularly that of class 11.
Parents Association of Privately Administered Schools (PAPAS), Kashmir’s Convenor, Asma Goni told Excelsior that the COVID situation is worsening and with the new variant being reported, there is a need for revisiting the decision of holding the offline exams.
“With new variant being here, the majority of students not vaccinated as there has not been so far any decision regarding vaccinating those below 18 and on top of it, the weather condition-all these factors make it difficult for children to appear in the offline exams,” she said, adding that the students with a physical disability will be facing more issues.
It is to be noted here that the exams of class 11th students are scheduled to start from December 18 and will end in January which is the time considered as a harsh period of winter in Kashmir.
The parents said that the condition of giving a consent letter is also adding to the pressure while questioning what the authorities have decided for the students whose parents do not give the letter of consent.
The parents said that the students are witnessing immense pressure and that there is a need for taking measures for minimizing the same. “It’s alarming and students are getting attracted towards drugs all due to the mental stress which nobody is taking note of,” the parents said.
The aggrieved parents said that the parents, administration and schools need to hold a discussion and come up with a solution aimed at bringing relief to the students.
PAPAS said that the authorities are not ready to own the issue and are resorting to callousness due to which the lives of the students are put at risk. “The issue needs to be addressed immediately and there is no point in delaying the same as the issue pertains to the safety of our wards,” the parents said.
They said that they have time and again raised the issue with the authorities. However, they have not been given any feedback, even so, when they discussed the matter with the authorities, they rather went ahead and issued a date sheet for class 11.
Excelsior tried to get the official side of the story, but the Director School Education, Kashmir as well as its PRO wing did not respond to repeated calls.