As Tribhuvan University is conducting exams in the physical presence of students, hashtags including #CancelTUExams, #cancelboardexams2021, #CancelExamsSaveStudents have taken twitter by storm.

Students that have to appear for the exams are expressing their concerns about taking the examinations physically as Covid-19 cases are steadily rising, once again, across the country.

In these grim times, the dissenting students have opted to take their concerns to social networking sites, suggesting officials' to adopt alternative methods including conduction of virtual examinations as well as internal assessment to evaluate the students' academic performances.

Although, the Ministry of Education has permitted authorities to conduct the examinations in physical presence of students with safety guidelines in place including allowing a maximum of 25 students to be put in each classroom at exam centers along with strict adherence to all prescribed health protocols, the ground-zero implementation of the directives is slouchy, putting students at greater risk of contraction.

Videos exposing presence of students in numbers greater than prescribed as witnessed at exam centers have been surfacing on the internet.

Pravita Lama Tamang, a BA third year student currently studying in St Xaviers' College, who had recently appeared for her resumed board examinations, lamented of huge gatherings at exam centers.

"Although, only 25 students are allowed per exam hall-- which too is not consistent-- the students share benches and are in close proximity of one another," shared Tamang. "Students who have symptoms similar to those of COVID-19 like persistent coughing, cold are present in exam halls, which is worrisome."

"Although my graduation has already been delayed by more than a year due to the pandemic and the future is yet uncertain so I do not have a choice," she added.

Similarly, some students have been lamenting about developing symptoms likely to that of the COVID-19 infection after attending the examinations.

Ministry of Health and Population has already warned of a third outbreak in the county fueled by the loosening of the lockdown, urging security personnel and general public for stringent implementation of the prescribed health and safety protocols. Moreover, according to the ministry, the potential third wave is most likely to affect children.

Earlier, #CancelNEBExams had trended on twitter wherein students who were set to appear for the Grade XII examinations scheduled from mid-August had taken on the microblogging and social networking service, to oppose the decision to physically conduct the examinations, to do which authorities' had seemed reluctant.

Owing to the outrage as well as steadily worsening COVID-19 situation, National Examination Board (NEB) officials announced the indefinite postponement of the scheduled examinations.

However, Tribhuvan University examinations, which have been in motion for sometime now, have remained uninterrupted.

Meanwhile, demand to vaccinate all students too have been surfacing on twitter. Despite the demands being made to inoculate all students, the student population is yet to be prioritized in the ongoing vaccination campaign.

Similarly, at some exam centers, students have been protesting to cancel the physical examinations. Incidents of clashes between the riot police and the protesting students too can been seen.

Students protesting to demand the cancellation ongoing physical examinations of Tribhuvan University at Padma Kanya College in Kathmandu on Tuesday. Courtesy: @DeepaAcharya12/Twitter
Students protesting to demand the cancellation ongoing physical examinations of Tribhuvan University at Padma Kanya College in Kathmandu on Tuesday. Courtesy: @DeepaAcharya12/Twitter