Students appear HSSLC exams amid COVID-19 fears

Students in Tuensang appearing the HSSLC exam which began on April 6. (Morung Photo by Moses Hongang)
Students in Tuensang appearing the HSSLC exam which began on April 6. (Morung Photo by Moses Hongang)

Morung Express News
Tuensang | April 6

As Nagaland battles with the possibility of a surge in COVID-19 cases, the Higher Secondary School Leaving Certificate (HSSLC) examinations for students in the State got underway on April 6.

While examinations are a critical part of the education process, there is a lot of uncertainty among students given the COVID-19 situation.

Students and educators in Tuensang district are apprehensive and stressed because of the recent detection of cases.

The State recently reported a sudden surge in new cases and Tuensang district also has two active COVID-19 cases at present.

The students are also concerned about measures being taken to control the spread.

Certain schools are conducting classes cluster-wise but examination centres are difficult to manage and following strict measures becomes challenging, as shared by educators.

“We are following the SOPs given by the government in our exam centre and some other schools are also implementing it but it is difficult to maintain the same regime for the students of other schools that come to appear exams in our school,” Rev Fr Sivi George, Principal St John’s Higher Secondary School (SJHSS), Tuensang shared.

“For example, my students listen to me but I cannot say the same for the students of other schools,” he reasoned and opined that the government should extend more assistance to manage the students when they come for exams and exit after exams etc.

“Most of the students follow the social distancing only during the exam hour inside the classrooms but when they leave the school premises, they mingle around even with others,” he observed.

In Tuensang district, there are 5 examination centres for HSSLC and 10 centres for HSLC with a total of 1539 HSLC and 590 HSSLC students appearing NBSE exams for the academic year 2020-21.

Students are seen appearing NBSE HSSLC exam at New Horizon School, Provisional examination centre in Dimapur on April 6.(Morung Photo by Soreishim Mahong)

After a short period of relaxation with less COVID-19 cases, life was limping back to normalcy but with the new cases, the mental stress on the students to study, appear exams combined with the fear of the virus is taking a toll on them.

Auchingkhumla, an Arts student of Government Higher Secondary School, Tuensang appearing her HSSLC exam said, “As there were no offline classes, it has affected my studies a lot because I cannot clear all the doubts in online classes. It has been an online education and it was very difficult because I kept thinking that exam will be held online.”

While expressing relief at exams being held offline, she also added, “…but I am worried about the rise in infection. I thought that 2021 will be a bright year but there is a second wave of COVID-19 pandemic, which makes me sad.”

The academic results this year may be different from other years and it may very well reflect how students and teachers have coped with the pandemic-induced situation.

“I feel that there will be leniency because of the pandemic. The questions were not that tough today too. I think the results will be mediocre because the students did not take online classes too seriously,” Changsonla Chang, PGT (English) GHSS, Tuensang shared.

A total of 16835 candidates (Arts-13024 and Commerce-1347 and Science-2464) will be appearing from 96 provisional examination centres in the State, out of which, 8194 are boys and 8641 are girls.