Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the nation is under lockdown for many days. Because of the nationwide lockdown, all the offices, shops and educational institutions are shut down. Online lectures are being given to the students so that they do not have to compromise with their students. But what about exams? It is important for the University to conduct exams.
Because of the safety of students and teachers and in order to maintain social distancing, Delhi University has planned to conduct online exams of the students.
The online exams would begin on 1st July. The tentative date sheet has already been released by the University. Still, teachers and students are against the decision of online exams and are protecting against Delhi University’s open book exams.
The exams that are going to conduct is for final year students and for those students who have not passed in any of their previous exams. Around 2.4 lakh students are going to appear for an open book exam. When the date sheet was released, the academic council and the executive council of DU wrote to the Vice-Chancellor and demanded to take the date sheet back. They said that they repeatedly wrote Vice-Chancellor not to conduct an online exam through open-book as it was anti-student and anti-social justice. It was like violating their own rules and regulations.
NOTIFICATION FROM THE DEAN:
Even then, a notification from a dean came in which he said that in case the situation does not appear to be normal in view of COVID-19, in order to maintain social distancing, the university will adopt an alternative mode of examinations i.e. open book examinations for final year/semester students of undergraduate and postgraduate students.
In the letter, it was written that the vice-chancellor is going ahead with the open book criteria despite being strong protests of the teachers and students without the approval of any of the statutory bodies, i.e. AC and EC. In recent surveys, students and teachers have shown a very high disapproval rating.
The council members have submitted two questions and are expecting a response from the DU administration.
The two questions that the council members asked from the DU administration are:
• How the situation changed so drastically that the university opted for an alternative mode i.e. OBE? How it is the only mode to apply for the students of all the streams? How did the University reach on such a decision and where was this assessment made? The council members the administration for the minutes of the meeting related to this issue.
• Why is the date ‘tentative’ and OBE certain? Do the factors which make the dates tentative, not influence the examination mode of OBE?
WHAT ARE THE REASONS FOR OPPOSING ONLINE EXAMS?:
The tentative date sheet and fixed OBE clearly shows the biased administration for it. Switching from one mode of examination to the other is like violating rules and regulations and the commitment to the students, which the university made at the time of their admissions.
Students have taken admission in the particular scheme of examinations and now that cannot be changed unilaterally. There are many reasons due to which students and teachers are opposing online examinations.
Students come here from different states of the country. In some places, there is no access to a proper internet connection. For the conduct of OBE, students would obviously need their study material and books which they do not have at this point in time. Even Delhi-based students are not confident enough about the proper functioning of the internet connection.
About three fourth of the total strength of students in the Delhi University come from socially and economically weaker sections. They have problems in terms of both- the hardware and the software.
TEACHERS SURVEYED TO KNOW THE RESPONSE OF STUDENTS:
Delhi University teachers association surveyed over 51000 students from undergraduate and postgraduate courses to know how students respond to open book exams. The association claim that over 85 percent of students are against the administration’s decision of conducting open book exams. And central reasons are lack of study material and poor internet connection.
The association of teachers is hoping that the administration would wider consultation before going ahead with exams.
Will the vice-chancellor take back the date sheet?
What would be the response of the administration regarding those two questions?
The response and the decision of the administration are yet to be known.