If IIT Bombay Can, Why Not Others? NSUI Opposes UGC's Decision On Final Exams
The University Grants Commission (UGC) has released new guidelines for exams and academic session. The higher education regulator has decided to hold the terminal semester or final year examinations by the end of September, 2020 in offline online or blended (online + offline) mode.
The National Students Union of India (NSUI), a students' body affiliated with the Congress, has said the Centre’s decision to hold final semester exams to be a "narrow-minded view" and has said "it will endanger student’s health". The University Grants Commission (UGC) has released new guidelines for exams and academic session today. The higher education regulator has decided to hold the final semester or final year examinations by the end of September, 2020 in offline, online or blended (online + offline) mode.
“If IIT Bombay can, why not other universities?” NSUI’s Ruchi Gupta has said while responding to the government’s decision to hold final semester or year exams of universities and colleges across India.
This decision will lead to mindless extended uncertainty for no discernable benefit. If IIT Bombay can cancel final year exams and extrapolate from previous assessments, why can't other univs? Education much more than exams and this narrow-minded view will endanger student health https://t.co/gwquWGb9uC— Ruchi Gupta (@guptar) July 6, 2020
Meanwhile, the exams for rest of the students have been cancelled due to the health risks and containment measures adopted by the government against the COVID-19 pandemic.
First, it's a tragedy to take the vastness of education - the experience of university, the diversity, the development of perspectives, critical thinking etc - and reduce it to a number received in an exam. This tragedy is brought out even more starkly if one takes an indepth look at the quality of the examination system in our country - rife with corruption, arbitrariness, delays, ineptitude, social bias, inequities and incompetence, the NSUI has said in its official statement.
Finally, the concern about devaluation of degree if the final exam is not conducted is exaggerated and misplaced. For most undergraduate courses, the final semester is only 1 semester out of 6 semesters. The purpose of exams in most often to filter out students - since the number of aspirants vastly outnumber opportunities - and it is easy to extrapolate relative ranking from past semesters and other internal assessments, it added.
On students who come from rural areas, the NSUI has said that these students from rural or marginalised backgrounds suffer from unequal access to both internet-enabled devices and internet connectivity. At least two students have committed suicide due to inability to participate in online classes.
It has also mentioned about the low attendance in online classes, which were started by many universities during the lockdown period. Online classes too have been a sham with a massive drop in attendance and the back and forth expected of classroom lectures, the Congress’ affiliated students' body has said.
On offline exams it has said that, "many students were shunted homes in a rush and students have reported that they are without books or study material. Even if exam centers manage social distancing, travel from their homes to universities will certainly lead to possible health exposure, putting both students and their families at risk."