Girls take exam ‘to move on’

Despite misgivings and fears of appearing unprepared for class 12 exams, girls across Kashmir appeared for the first paper amidst heightened security measures and lowered guard by examiners.
Girls take exam ‘to move on’
Photo: Habib Naqash/GK

Despite misgivings and fears of appearing unprepared for class 12 exams, girls across Kashmir appeared for the first paper amidst heightened security measures and lowered guard by examiners. Thousands of girls took the class 12 exams today, opting for November session instead of March session despite schools being closed for four months. While multiple reasons were cited by them for choosing November session, the unanimous voice that echoed among the students was that the cut in syllabus announced by authorities was too tempting to be missed.

"Who would miss the golden opportunity of 50 percent rebate in syllabus," a group of students from various schools in Srinagar said in unison outside Kothi Bagh Higher Secondary School. The students identifying themselves as Nida Bhat and Zikra Nazar said, "We had not even studied 20 percent of the syllabus in schools. It is an effort on our part that we are taking exam for 50 percent syllabus."

A group of students from Amira Kadal Higher Secondary School said that the decision to take exams at this point was a 'difficult decision'. "We had banked on tuitions for exam preparations and not studied even 10 percent of syllabus of most subjects in school. But even the tuitions became unavailable making it really hard for us to prepare for exams," Rutba Hamid, Irtiqa Jan and Saba Hamid from this government Higher Secondary said.

Moreover, many students were pushed into exams with rumors of 'strictness' in next exams making rounds. "We had heard that the government would increase the difficulty level of March session question papers. Therefore we wanted to escape that," Mehsu Aslam a student from Police Public School Srinagar who appeared for Entrepreneurship paper said.

Some other students who had non-medical as their subject believed that taking the exam in March would have meant missing the JEE (Joint Entrance Examination) exams held in the month of April. "Right now government said 12th class exams will be taken again in March. They might delay it. We would miss an entire year like that," Mehnaam Qureshi, a student of Mallinson School said.  She added that she was left with no choice.

Samardeep Kour from Tral who is enrolled at Kothi Bagh Higher Secondary School said that she wanted to 'get over' with Class 12 to get admission in college. "I want to go to college and just want to get over with this class. What would it have given us to wait for a few more months," she said.

While security forces lined routes to exam centers, most female students were accompanied by parents or relatives. "We were worried for the security of our girls. Moreover, transport was also a problem," Mohammad Subhan Malik, whose daughter was appearing for exams in Raj Bagh Higher Secondary School, said. Malik said he had also given lift to a few class 12 students who he found stranded near HMT waiting for an auto-rickshaw.

Students said they were pleasantly surprised by the paper which they described as 'compassionately set'. "Although initially there was some confusion as the paper did not have open choice but was printed with internal choice only but the confusion was cleared when the supervisors asked us to attempt only 50 percent of the questions from each section," Mehreen Mushtaq, a student of Presentation Convent School who appeared for Chemistry paper said.

Most students although thrilled after appearing in the concessional exams said they were worried about the remaining papers. "We have not been in touch with studies. We have not been to school or tuitions. Naturally, we are quite worried," Humaira Nazir, a student of Rainawari Higher Secondary School said.

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