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“Unfair towards students, incompetence of the Board, careless government”: these were some of the reactions and allegations that flew thick and fast on social media accounts of students of CBSE’s Class X and XII, as well as their parents. On Wednesday, the board admitted that two papers — Class XII Economics and Class X Mathematics — were leaked and announced that re-tests for these papers will be held across India. The decision will affect around 28 lakh students. The dates of the re-tests would be announced by the end of this week.
The Math paper, the last one in Class X board exams, was held on Wednesday. Minutes after students left the exam halls, they were informed by their parents about the paper leaks. Preeti Saraf, a Class X student, was celebrating her “independence from the exams” when she received the news. “Today’s paper was quite easy because all questions were from the syllabus and the problems were similar to the model ones in the NCERT textbook. We don’t know how tough the re-test will turn out to be… it’s really unfair that some people leak the paper, and students across the country have to suffer,” she said.
While Union Human Resource Development minister Prakash Javadekar has assured that the re-test won’t be tough, students are not so sure. Some of them have already started filing online petitions, urging the government and the board to reconsider their decision.
One of them is Heena Kapoor, a Class XII student from Delhi Public School, Mohammedwadi, who will have to write the Economics paper again. The first paper was a “very scoring one”, she said. “This news is disheartening, as it’s the second time that a board paper had been leaked… Nobody had any information about the leak… until today evening,” said Kapoor.
“This is going to cause a lot of trouble for students who are going to appear for other examinations. CBSE should take action in the Delhi region, where the leak took place… students who worked hard all over India are suffering because of them,” she said.
Her classmate, Kanishq Patel, said Class XII students were worried about the date of the re-test clashing with important entrance exams. “I want to pursue a product designing course and have applied to top institutes across India. Their entrance exams are scheduled in April and I am hoping that their dates do not clash with the re-test. To take some entrance exams, I have to go to Bengaluru… if the re-test is on the same day, then I will have to cancel my tickets,” he said.
Parents of students are not only worried about the additional stress on their children, but also if they will be able to go ahead with their travel plans. “We had booked our tickets two months ago for a trip to Sikkim, because April is the peak season there. We wanted to give our daughter, who appeared for her first board exam, a good break once the exam was over… but now we are not sure if we can go. What if re-tests are announced while we are there? It is so last-minute that we will not get any refunds and will lose all our money… not to mention the unimaginable stress it puts on the students…,” said Preeti Vyas, a parent.