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Board Exams, & Now Entrance Exams Postponed: 4 Moms Give Tips On How They Deal With This

Posted: April 8, 2020

Board exams, entrance exams – are both milestone examinations students take; having exams postponed is stressful for them and their parents. But – it’s a small price to pay to be safe.

Just a couple of days ago, the Ministry of Human Resources Development announced that they had directed the National Testing Agency to postpone the timelines for all entrance exams which normally happen in April and May, due to the logistical difficulties during Corona virus lockdown. Similarly, last month, most board exams, whether they were Indian boards like SSC, PUC, CBSC, ICSE, ICS, or international boards like IGCSE and IB, were either cancelled or postponed, and some done online.

This is a huge thing during this exam season of February to May, bang in the middle of which we have had the Pandemic and the necessary lockdown.

Board exams – a family event?

Board exams in India are more than just an examination. It is not just the students who give the exams but the entire family preps for it. The entire family is involved in ensuring that the child gets an ideal environment to study, and the child’s wellbeing and comfort is the topmost priority during this time.

So the board exams being postponed or cancelled because of the lockdown is a major event for parents as well as their children who have worked hard for a year to prepare for these crucial examinations.

The Women’s Web team spoke to 4 moms to find out their views on the matter; how their children reacted, and how they handled it –
~ Sudha Jain, a Bangalore based digital marketer and mom to two
~ Rashmi Vallabhajosyula, Bangalore based entrepreneur and mother to two teens
~ Anuradha Mehra, a homemaker based out of Gurugram
~ Payal Bedi, an educator with a leading school in Gurugram and mother of two teenage girls

Maybe parents everywhere (especially those whose kids are now facing the postponement of entrance exams) can take notes.

The original dates for some of these exams were: 
ICSE 10th – 27th February 2020 to 30st March 2020
ICS 12th – 3rd February 2020 to 31st March 2020
CBSC 10th – 15th February 2020 to 20th March 2020
CBSC 12th – 15th February 2020 to 30th March 2020

The initial information from the authorities

The update from the authorities came quite late.

Sudha Jain‘s daughter was taking the ICSE 10th board examinations. She says that the notice about the exams being deferred was uploaded to the examination board’s website on 19th of March.

Rashmi Vallabhajosyula,  whose daughter was also taking the ICSE 10th board examination added that the information stated that all exams between 16th to 31st March were postponed on account of the Pandemic. She understands that it was unfair to expect a detailed date plan due to the uncertain nature of the pandemic, but hopes that the Board will take an appropriate decision when the 21 day lockdown period is over.

Another mother, Anuradha Mehra, whose daughter was taking the CBSE 12th board examination states that her daughter has only one subject left, which was postponed. CBSE issued a notice informing that the exam was to be rescheduled and the date was to be announced on 31st of March.

Exams postponed = stress

Board exams in general are very stressful for the students taking them. An entire year of preparation and studying leads up to these pivotal examinations. It is normal for students to have mixed feelings about this sudden change of events.

Sudha understands this and says that even though her daughter is upset because only one more examination was left, it was she who was more upset than her daughter, “Honestly it upset me more as life had come to a standstill while her exams were on. And I wanted it over as much as she did. But in a crisis such as this, nothing is in our hands. The children spoke to one another and tried to wrap their heads around what had happened.”

Rashmi had something similar to say on the matter. She says “teenagers are resilient,” and that her child just like others wanted to finish the stressful exams and finished her holidays. The postponement has slowed down her momentum but she took it well, and is now preparing at a more relaxed pace.

The other kids were more chilled out – Anuradha says that her daughter was disappointed, but has taken it well and is not too stressed about it while Payal Bedi says that her child is happy and enjoying her time at home.

Yet, children need support during this time

Everyone unanimously agreed, however, that the children need support and love from adults during these unexpected and uncertain times with exams postponed. Rashmi considers it of utmost important to not show your own stress to the child, and that being supportive and patient during this time is important to cheer up your children, while staying indoors and bidding time, is the best course of action.

Anuradha emphasises that parents need to encourage the children to have fun at home and revise at their own pace. Sudha insightfully adds that safety should always be a priority. She has been trying to show her children the bigger picture, and how everything around them is being affected by this.

Advice to other parents

Payal Bedi has some very wise advice for other parents – She says, “Board exams and marks are a very small part of our life. It’s like a dot on the whole canvas of life.”

Sudha thoughtfully advises that parents should avoid worrying about the children’s studies right now, and that everyone is in this together. parents should instead focus on the child’s mental and emotional well being, and stop pestering them to study. She hopes that sufficient notice period will be given regarding the new schedules. Anuradha is right there with her; she suggests that parents must stay calm and not pressurise their kids too much, while ncouraging children to pursue their indoor hobbies, which will go a long way to ensuring their happiness.

Rashmi has some astute final words on this – “It’s a very scary time, and there’s loads of uncertainty. It’s natural to be stressed and worried at this time. Given the damage wrought by corona virus on other countries, one can only pray that people across the country remain safe. The silver lining of this lockdown is that in our fast-paced lives, you’re getting a 3-week staycation at home with your kids. Time to spend some precious moments as a family, helping one another with chores, playing indoor games. Exams will come and go, but these memories will be for life. One day we may look back and smile at the time we spent together.”

Image source: YouTube

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Asefa writes about the lives of women in smaller towns of India. Her interest include

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