The state of Andhra Pradesh has decided to take the state board exams for the students of class 12, physically with strict maintenance of covid 19 protocols and social distancing. The same has been informed to the Hon’ble Supreme Court via an affidavit filed in a plea by Advocate Anubha Srivastava Sahai and seven others regarding the cancellation of class 12 board exams, HSC, and NIOS physical exams. The Hon’ble bench of Hon’ble Justices AM Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari will be hearing the petition tomorrow.
The petition has stated that the conduction of the exams physically is essential as the alternative modes of marking are not only complex but unreliable as the state boards have no check on the internal evaluation and marking by the individual schools. Moreover, the number of patients affected with covid 19 has also been decreasing, according to the petition. The state of Andhra Pradesh has notified that several students are being granted grades in the place of marks which is a problematic system. The state plans to hold the exams sometime in July with prior notice of fifteen days to the parents and students as soon as the exact date is decided. The counsels have also stated that the board examinations of class 12 students play an important role in their college admissions as 25% weightage is given to such results even in the common entrance tests conducted by the states. Therefore, it is for the benefit of the students themselves, that the state has decided to take such a decision with due precautions to stall the spread of the virus.
Some of the measures include the thermal screening of the students, teachers, and staff, providing masks, maintaining proper distancing, separate entry, and exit points, proper sanitization, etc.
The state government had been asked by the Hon’ble Supreme Court to submit its decision on the conduct of the exams by the 24th of June.
Advocate Mahfooz Nazki, appearing on behalf of the Andhra Pradesh state government has intimated the vacation bench, of the decision taken by the state. He has also mentioned that the final decision will be submitted on July 1st.
The Hon’ble bench has raised pertinent questions as to whether the state government is sure that it will be able to conduct the exams in July, whether handling 5 lakh students will be possible for them or not, etc. Provided that the other states as well as the CBSE and ICSE boards have decided to cancel the exams, the Hon’ble court wanted to know the final answer from the Andhra Pradesh government within 2 days. The Hon’ble bench stated that any further uncertainty will not be conducive for the students.
The counsel appearing on behalf of the state government replied that not more than 15 students will be allowed to sit in one examination hall and that all the necessary precautionary measures will be followed. However, the bench warned that even if one fatality occurs due to the conduct of these exams in the physical space, the Hon’ble court will hold the government of Andhra Pradesh responsible for it. The final judgement is yet awaited.