Arya Suresh is a final year law student at Govt. Law College Ernakulam. She is also a columnist.
The pandemic has left no one untouched, whether in the uncertainty of the next meal or that of failing career prospects or the angst of classes and examinations.
Although the government successfully conducted physical board examinations last year and universities seamlessly switched to an online routine, for students, education has been reduced to mindlessly feeding on disembodied streams of mere words, without attaching any deeper or intimate understanding of the subjects. Lost, also, are the pleasures of playing on a school field and socialising physically. This pandemic has undoubtedly stunted the growth of social and cultural qualities in our students.
The delay in conducting university examinations is making students anxious about graduating on time. Those who do graduate find themselves with reduced job opportunities. For those who graduated recently, job hunt seems stressful and futile many a times. The general pay cuts and lack of work has made many families desperate for money for basic sustenance. However, the Kerala government’s food kits have been beneficial here.
Many universities are demanding their fees, which has affected the scope of higher education resulting in fewer students pursuing postgraduate degrees. The socially and economically vulnerable students are having a challenging time funding their education now that gadgets and the internet have become necessities. KSEB has done a stellar job ensuring that there are no power cuts, which has indeed been incredible.
There has been an increase in severe mental health problems among the youth. Keeping this in mind, the Kerala government started helplines to safeguard people’s mental health.
The government did everything in their power to ensure students could safely attend classes and appear for their exams. It is time they took an active step in switching from offline to online exams, while also keeping in mind the digital divide and ensuring that it doesn’t hamper students’ progress.