If surviving the pandemic isn’t enough, now students facing misery over final year examinations. Students are criticising the UGC’s decision to conduct exams in September 2020. Still, UGC mandate exams for terminal year students. The revised guideline has created outrage on social media and differences between centre and state. Several states had already cancelled the university’s examination, but centre still keen on conducting final year exams. Now, students are in the midst of chaos. 6 states including Delhi, Punjab, Maharashtra, Odisha, Tamil Nadu have announced reservations against UGC’s guideline citing COVID-19.
In a step that is expected to adversely impact the career of students, the UGC has asserted that guidelines have to be followed mandatorily by universities.
The question arises, “Are Exams more important than students?”
As per HRD ministry’s official, “Academic evaluation of students is a very important milestone in any education system. The performance in examinations gives confidence and satisfaction to the students and is a reflection of competence, performance and credibility that is necessary for global acceptability.”
Academic evaluation is important, not conducting exams. Universities are not even prepared enough to conduct online examinations. We all know the result of the mock test being conducted by Delhi University. It was an enormous failure because of problems faced by students. The mental health of students should be the priority of UGC and HRD, not putting pressure on them.
Companies revoke joining letters
While talking to various students of different universities, they had informed us that companies revoked their joining letters or postpone their joinings. The reason is universities haven’t promoted them yet. They have a fear that one more year will be added to their course. Their joining in any company would be surely after September, which isn’t even confirmed yet.
Is education minister or UGC even thinking about such students who’re not financially stable and in the need of a job?
Along with COVID crisis, I’m irritated by the UGC’s revised guidelines. It doesn’t make any sense that final year students have to wait. My recent offer has been revoked by the company because of exams, and now my joining gets late. The first and second year students will be assessed on the basis of previous semester performance and internal assessments. What about final year students? I’ve already survived 4 years of my engineering and now they want me to wait until September to give the final year’s exam. After that, result will come in November. Due to this, I’ve collaborated with my friends and created a website CovidHire where recruiters can contact students whose proposals have been put on hold or revoked.– Ujjwal Shukla, student of MSIT
In Dire Need
Education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal wrote, “I feel that positive and continuous communication is the key to end the misery of anxiety, depression, and stress to achieve higher levels of well-being”.
This statement seems to contradict with what students are facing right now. What about students who contracted coronavirus, they will also give exams? Already, there is anxiousness and lack of communication by universities is more panicking. Final year students are in the dire need of promotion, but UGC gave it to first and second-year students.
Enough reasons to not conduct exams
HRD Ministry’s official said, “Top-ranking universities of the world have opted for final exams to be done remotely. Like Princeton and MIT, University of Cambridge, Imperial College of London, University of Toronto have resorted to the online technology-based model of conducting exams”.
There are enough reasons to prove that online examination is not suitable for all. There are many students who live in remote areas where internet connectivity is poor. It is possible some students even contracted coronavirus. How will they study? How does the college expect students to give exams, even after knowing the condition of the internet in India? UGC is focusing on the end product or let’s say thinking in the long term, not on the process of it. There are many whose parents are essential workers and their kids have to do household chores. They’re also under so much burden. How UGC is expecting them to study in these times?
The revised guideline to take terminal exams by either online, offline, or in blended mode is not fair. Not every student has access to the same home environment, technical stuff and economic resources.-Sharath, student of Delhi University
Well, UGC is in no mood of stepping back. While students on social media demanding cancellation of exams. The outrage seems obvious and students should be promoted with no hassle based on previous semesters, assignments and projects. Students are already under duress and examination will only worsen the situation. UGC should give an option of examination to those students who wish to improve their grades.