The CBSE announced the Class XII results on Monday afternoon but hundreds of students in the city could not access the results initially because of an “error on the website” and “online traffic”. They called up their teachers and schools to know how they had fared. Minutes after the announcement, the official website designated for the results took a dip following the influx of heavy traffic. With almost 12 lakh students said to have been registered for the board exams, the surge in traffic left the sites inaccessible for scorecards for over three hours. Instead of holding poor planning and management accountable, CBSE simply cited the inconvenience as a “technical issue”.
Furthermore, students were either directed to follow-up with their schools for emails or access the government flagship, Digilocker services, which to everyone’s horror was down too. Nearly three hours into the chaos that is the Indian education board. Students were eventually informed that they could also receive their results via SMS. The whole experience was something akin to visiting government offices, except it had the added touch of #DigitalIndia. Needless to say, CBSE class 12 students were clearly left unimpressed and feeling helpless as they waited for their final results. “Technical issue” could have been an understandable and justified excuse 10 to 12 years ago when the Indian Education Board first decided to switch to online results. A whole decade since, the lack of progress has only managed to result in collective anxiety and red flags.
It begs to ask the pressing question then: Is India really ready for Online education? With the coronavirus-forced lockdown, educational institutions have been shut since March. While the unpredictability of the future of traditional mode of classroom teaching stays looming, the pandemic has forced the shift to digital platforms. However, in a country that lacks proper digital infrastructure, the unprecedented challenges faced by both teachers and students is a reminder that Digital India hasn’t shaped into a movement from a mere hashtag just yet.