Students suffer as exam centers lack heating facilities

Srinagar: Many students of 12th standard appearing in their annual J&K Board exams complained they faced difficulty writing their papers in the cold without heating arrangements in their exam centers. The examination of class 12th commenced on November 9 and the second paper of the students is scheduled on Saturday, November 13. The students from various districts said the school education department and the JK Board of School Education (JKBOSE) authorities have failed to put in place proper heating and lighting arrangements for the examinees.

“The exam of our first subject started at 12 noon and culminated at 2:30 in the afternoon. There was no proper heating arrangement for the students which caused inconvenience to us while writing for our exams,” said Ishfaq, a student from Srinagar.

This newspaper received scores of phone calls from parents and students who complained about the non-availability of heating facilities in exam centers.

In some exam centers, there was no proper arrangement of lighting as well.

“Besides unavailability of heating arrangements the students are not provided lighting facilities as some of the centers are set up in small rooms. Given the cold conditions, the doors and windows remain closed and it becomes difficult to write the exams,” said a student.

Around 74000 students are appearing for class 12th annual JKBOSE exam which according to the already notified date sheet will culminate on December 4.

Before the commencement of examination, the schools heads were instructed by the JK Board to ensure all the facilities in the examination and avoid the inconveniences of the students.

However, the students have been left at the receiving end due to the lack of coordination between the education department, Board officials and the heads of the schools designated as the exam centers for the students.

Amid the complaints of the students, a teacher from Kupwara district who has been deputed for exam duty however stated that there was no requirement of heating facilities in exam centers during the day time as weather “mostly remains pleasant”.

“We also remain present in the exam centers but we don’t feel the requirement of a heating facility in the exam halls as the day temperature mostly remains normal,” the teacher said.

Notably, onus of providing heating and lighting facilities lies on the school heads and CEOs where the centers are located. But no such arrangements are in place at any of the exam centers.

Chairperson JK BOSE, Veena Pandita did not comment on the complaints about non-availability of lighting facilities. She however said they have already provided funds to the concerned school heads to make arrangements of heating facilities for students in exam centers.

“I fail to understand why they don’t utilise the money sent to them. We have sent the funds to each school as per our norms. I will issue a notification regarding this and try to ensure that the students do not face any inconveniences during the exams,” Pandita said.

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