CBSE made mistake, we are punished: Why 16 lakh Class X, over 3 lakh Class XII students are fuming

New Delhi: Maths is widely considered as one of the most dreaded subjects for students around the world. Appearing for one Maths examination can be a nerve-wracking experience. But imagine writing the same exam twice – with a new set of questions? That is exactly what over 16 lakh Class X students will have to go through as their Maths – and the Economics paper for Class XII – has been scrapped following a question-paper leak.

Most CBSE students were left fuming when CBSE announced earlier this week that the exams for Class X Maths and Class XII Ecomics will have to be taken once again. Admitting that the two papers were leaked on WhatsApp, CBSE said a new date will be announced shortly.

Ticking off each subject after its exam is over brings about a special joy for students across the country in the otherwise tense month of March. The ticks were unticked. The books were brought back. Lost time was, well, lost.

Even as authorities face an uphill task to apprehend the culprits behind the paper leak, the task ahead for students appear even more steep.

Protests across the country erupted shortly after CBSE announced its decision to conduct re-examinations. Online and out on the streets, students expressed anger at a time when they should have been expressing a strong determination to get good marks.

In one such protest at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar, students braved the summer sun to show exactly what they thought of CBSE and its decision.

“CBSE should have put every single measure in place to ensure that papers do not leak. If the leak happened, it is not our fault, why should we write the papers again,” asked Priti Rajput, a Class XII student. Agreed Ajith Kurup, a Class XII student in the science stream. “My engineering examinations are round the corner and I was putting finishng touches to my preparations. Now, I have to put it on hold and revise for an exam I have already appeared for. What is my crime?,” he asked.

Other protestors in locations across Delhi and elsewhere echoed similar sentiments.

Strength in numbers?

Over 28 lakh candidates registered for the CBSE examinations this year. Of these 16,38,428 candidates are appearing for Class X and all of them will now have to write the Maths paper again. Another 11,86,306 students are appearing for Class XII exams. Of these, more than 3 lakh students wrote the Economics paper and will now have to write it once again.

The sheer scale of conducting CBSE exams is astounding. That two of these exams have to be conducted once again is, therefore, appalling. “I understand the despair of students. I am a parent myself and even I have had sleepless nights,” HRD minister Prakash Javadekar said recently.

It will, however, indeed take sleepless nights for students to ensure they appear for the re-examinations with confidence even if their faith in the Board conducting the exam remains forever shaken.