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#Thread on #JEENEET Exams:

In less than 48 hours, the JEE gets underway, even as India reaches the highest #COVID19 per day cases globally. There have been many reports of students taking their lives for the fear of giving exams in a pandemic, but there's been no postponement.
2/ Even if, miraculously, the Education Ministry does postpone these exams tomorrow, it would be besides the point because of the spectacular damage that these exams have already done to lakhs of students in India: even more so than they do every year.

And what a shame that is.
3/ It's no secret that the education system in India is broken, but the impunity with which politicians disregard student mental health is shocking.

Almost 50% of India is under 25; yet there is 0% empathy for students, and what we do to them in the name of 'competitive exams'.
4/ It's been infuriating to see how our education system prioritises marks over learning.

You are forced to study for exams, so that you can give another exam, and so on, until you get a job.. where they train you from SCRATCH, because you've only been taught how to pass exams!
5/ TW: When you de-prioritise learning in favour of 'beating competition', when you reduce studying to passing or failing exams, you systemically break student self-esteem, to get a country with one of the highest student suicide rates in the world, with 28+ suicides PER DAY.
6/ It's spectacularly heartless of the govt to force students to give #JEENEET risking lives (What's the excuse by 'Digital India' for not shifting exams online?!).

But what's heartbreaking is that there'd hardly be any parents telling their children that it's okay to skip them.
7/ Students are pleading their governments to postpone #JEENEET because they cannot even fathom the idea of *choosing* not to give these exams.

More than #COVID19, they fear losing a year, because as a society, we've told them that's all their lives are worth: 'cracking' exams.
8/ And that's a greater failure on our part as a society, one we've been indifferent to for too long: Recognising the mental health cost of an ABSURD education system, where the coaching for a competitive exam to get into a good college to get a good job begins at the age of 10!!
9/ I have little hope from politicians, but if you are a parent reading this thread, please sit you child down and tell them that their lives are more important than these exams! That they are worth more than their JEE/NEET rank, and they WILL BE FINE if they skip them this year.
10/ And if you are a student, as someone who's been both an engineer & a teacher, know that what you are going through is NOT your fault. The system is stacked against you, so *you* need to prioritise your health and talk to your parents.

I promise: You are more than your marks.
(Also, to everyone who does not have the privilege to skip a year, I'm so sorry for what we are doing to you 💔)
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