Fate of NIOS students hang in balance as they await board exams

New Delhi, Sep 4 (UNI) It has been over a month since CBSE and ICSE board of examinations declared class Xth and XIIth results for the 2019-2020 academic year, but the fate of tens and thousands of NIOS students hangs in balance as they run from pillar to post to ensure fair evaluation of their Board examination papers.
A majority of the higher secondary and senior secondary students enrolled in the National Institute of Open Schooling or National Open School (NIOS) are yet to take their board exams after they have expressed discontent in August over the institute’s method of evaluation used to mark their Tutor Marked Assignments (TMAs).
NIOS Board, that holds public examinations twice a year, had released its datasheet for the March-April board examinations in February. However, the exams were postponed soon after the imposition of a nationwide lockdown due to the novel coronavirus and eventually got cancelled on July 10.
After a Supreme Court bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar, on July 15, asked the education board to ensure that results of the current academic year are declared by August 7, the board announced to evaluate students on the basis of their assignments.
Though results of evaluation were soon out, they received heavy public criticism for their faulty marking method. On August 6, hundreds of students demonstrated in front of the NIOS Noida headquarters and demanded a re-evaluation. Agitated students, chucking the social distancing norms, pelted stones shattering the buildings’ window panes.
Students of both the class groups shared their woes about the NIOS Board’s evaluation system.
Talking to UNI, a student of Class X named Shrishti said, “I have been marked absent in all the practical exams, which were not even conducted due to the lockdown in the month of March-April”.
“How can someone score more than 90 pc as per TMA and less than 45 pc for exams that were never conducted in the first place? We want an explanation. CBSE and ICSE are not the only boards of importance,” Bhavesh Pant, one of the protesting students, said.
Another student Shariq Rahman had complained that he has been failed in four subjects.
Since the announcement of results, ‘JusticeforNIOSstudents’ was trending on Twitter with lakhs of students posting innumerable tweets to draw the attention of HRD Ministry, NIOS and its recently appointed Chairman Bishwajit Kumar Singh.
The aggrieved students, however, said that their pleas to NIOS seemed to have fallen on deaf ears.
“Nobody seems to be listening. After a lot of ruckus, the board has finally agreed to take on-demand examinations but there is no guarantee of fair marking because the system is marred by corruption,” a student said on the condition of anonymity.
“Most of the students who get enrolled in NIOS are either from poor families or those who have failed their board classes with the hope to save their academic year without spending too much. Being a newcomer they have no idea that they would end up spending more to get their work done at every step,” 


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