Sir — The effort made by the Manchester United forward, Marcus Rashford, to persuade the authorities in the United Kingdom to extend free school meal vouchers to children from underprivileged families for six weeks is laudable. About 1.3 million children now stand to benefit. Like him, more celebrities should use their positions of influence to bring about positive changes in the world.
Sir — The Covid-19 pandemic had left students appearing for board examinations hanging for a while long. So the choice given to the students registered for the Indian Certificate of Secondary Examinations and Indian School Certificate exams — they may now opt if they want to take the tests for the remaining papers or be marked on their pre-board assessments — is helpful (“Board exams up to pupils”, June 16).
The board should, however, make sure that the schools do not manipulate this system to the advantage of their own students. Otherwise, there would be no meaning to exams at all.
Sir — In view of the coronavirus outbreak, the decision of the Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations to allow students taking board exams to choose between writing the pending exams or being assessed on the basis of pre-board marks is welcome. The board could also have given the examinees the option to sit for the tests on the subjects of their choice.
States like Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Chhattisgarh have been way ahead in addressing the issue — while Chhattisgarh cancelled the board exams for students of both the 10th and the 12th standards as early as May, Telangana and Tamil Nadu have done away with the Class X examinations and decided to promote all students to the next class.
There is no denying that examinations are a necessary component of the formal education system and, in normal times, they are an opportunity for the students to prove their merit. But with a deadly virus on the prowl, it is risky for students — thousands of them would have to take public transport — to appear for the tests at a particular centre. Besides, there has already been a spike in Covid-19 cases since Unlock 1.0. It would be wise to take no chances at all.