Back in the examination hall Good old school days !
The virus did keep them away from the classrooms and the examination hall for more than a year and so it is that after one whole academic year, young students of Manipur, like their counterparts in the rest of the country, sat for their Class X and Class XII examinations conducted by the Board of Secondary Education, Manipur (BOSEM) and Council of Higher Secondary Education, Manipur (COHSEM) this year. Not that the virus has been completely reined in, with Delhi and some cities of the country reporting a spike in new cases in the last couple of days, but it was providence that young students this year got the opportunity to sit for their first two public examinations, with the nervousness, excitement, tension and expectancy all rolled into one. The Class X exam is over while the Class XII exam is still underway and in a way when young students look back at 2020, 2021 and some parts of 2022, say five or even ten years hence they will recall the period with a tinge of sadness and disappointment, in the sense that they could not finish their school years ‘normally’. It is the same with many students who may now be in the first year of their post graduation, as they literally lost the joy and excitement of going to college and experiencing a whole new life after more than 12 years of school life. College life, this is what they would have missed when they look back at 2020 and 2021 for online classes and online examinations can never replace classroom learning. The experience of going to college, meeting classmates and face to face daily interactions with the Professors is something which will never come back. One just hopes that the young students make up for it during their post graduation days. This is the impact of the virus, a global pandemic on the life and academic pursuit of the young students. The same may be said of the students who are appearing for their Class XII exams. Sitting for the board exams after attending online classes and surely there is something to feel and emphatise with the young students. Afterall, most of them would be proceeding for their higher studies having hardly attended school after their 10th. Elders of the family, parents and guardians must surely feel the sense of loss such young students will feel when they look back at their student life as they enter midlife or when they themselves become parents and guardians of the generations set to come after them.
This is how Covid has impacted on the lives of the youngsters, apart from claiming the lives of many. More than 2000 people have fallen prey to the virus here in Manipur, especially during the second wave when the Delta variant ran riot. This is about the pandemic and in a few months from now, that is if the virus does not run riot again, one can expect to see hundreds and hundreds of young students who just gave their Class XII exams heading for places outside Manipur for their higher studies. While some will go in for professional courses, such as engineering and medical, there will be many more who will be heading to pursue higher studies in Science, Commerce and the Humanities. This is a point which The Sangai Express has touched on many occasions and while some places such as Shillong and Guwahati attract students from Manipur, here the push factor seems to be more powerful with more and more students opting to go outside for their higher studies. Why this is so is a point which educationists, the State Government, the student organisations and CSOs should ponder over seriously. Just look at the economics of sending one’s child to study further outside the State, simply because the environment here just does not favour students to pursue their academics sincerely and without any disturbances.