Of all the routines twisted out of shape by the pandemic, few involve higher stakes, in terms of future impact, than the one on education. Online classes and their uneven, unreliable spread; unfinished syllabi; uncertainty about schools reopening; the psychological impact of enforced seclusion on sensitive young minds….
Fifteen-year-old Rashmi, a class 10 student of a private school in Ranchi, is anxious and stressed since the announcement of the dates for the board examination of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on December 31 last year. She says she attended all the online classes and went through the study material provided by her school during the academic year but is not sure of scoring well in the exams scheduled to start from May 4, even as the CBSE has reduced the syllabus by 30 per cent. “I am facing difficulties in mathematics,” she says.