Lokesh urges Governor to intervene in board exams

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Public seek cancellation of exams due to Covid
Highest single day cases recorded in AP

AMARAVATI: TDP National General Secretary and MLC Nara Lokesh on Monday urged Governor Biswabhushan Harichandan to intervene to get the board examinations for the 10th and intermediate students either postponed or cancelled in Andhra Pradesh.
Mr. Lokesh said that the Covid-19 second wave was posing a serious threat to all sections of people with the highest single day spike of over 12,634 cases reported yesterday. The public opinion was in favour of the cancellation of the examinations so that the students and their parents would be spared from needless exposure to the virus threat.

In a letter written to the Governor here, Mr. Nara Lokesh termed it as an issue of urgent and critical importance to the public health of the entire state. The Government of Andhra Pradesh announced its decision to conduct Intermediate exams for more than 10 lakh students in May, 2021 and also 10th exams for 6.3 lakh students in June, 2021. There was widespread anxiety among the people about illness, serious disorders, and untimely deaths due to the second wave of Covid-19.

Stressing the need for timely intervention, Mr. Lokesh said: “hospitals are falling short of crucial resources and medical supplies. Lockdowns of differing severity are being enforced everywhere. As Your Excellency is well aware, more than 20 states in the country have canceled or postponed exams for 10th and 12th class students. It is thus egregious on the part of the Government of Andhra Pradesh to stick to its decision of conducting exams.”
Mr. Lokesh expressed concern that much more fatal and infectious mutations of the coronavirus were spreading currently. It may be impossible to ensure safety in the exams involving thousands of schools, lakhs of teachers, and millions of students. Even if a single life of a student, teacher, or parent was lost to Covid-19 due to this mass gathering at exams, it will be an unpardonable failure on the part of the government.

Stating that the virus cases were observed at schools and colleges, the TDP MLC said that many teachers and students along with their parents were infected and hundreds of teachers have succumbed. Adolescents should not be forced to take exams under such pressure. Moreover, the Government failed in providing proper Covid infrastructure. Lack of tests has become a problem along with non-availability of oxygen, medicines and beds. In such a situation, it is not correct to burden our children with the added fear of having to take exams under unsafe conditions.

Mr. Lokesh said that considering the gravity of the situation, the TDP has collected public opinion in the State through whatsapp web link. Around 1,12,466 messages have been received demanding the cancellation of the board exams. About 2,33,900 people supported cancellation of board exams as of Monday. Teachers, parents, children and other people indirectly associated with the board exams are worried about safety.

Mr. Lokesh pointed out that AP averaged more than 9,000 new cases daily in the past week. With low testing compared to the rest of South India, there is huge under-reporting of cases and deaths in our state. We must work to bring the pandemic under control, not allow it to ravage our already traumatized society.