University of Delhi has decided to promote the first and second-year students on the basis of previous semester results and internal assessment. On the other hand, they have decided to conduct open book exams for this year students.
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It is not possible to conduct a classroom examination because of the coronavirus pandemic. The coronavirus has spread to that extend in the nation that the Prime Minister of India took the decision of nationwide lockdown.
Although online classes are being conducted by the teachers but what about exams?
It is not safe to conduct classroom examinations and it is important to maintain social distancing. In view of the prevailing situation and to regulate the academic session, the University of Delhi has decided to promote the 1st and 2nd-year students on the basis of their previous semester result and their current semester internal assessment. Delhi University provides nationwide education and that is why students from different states come and study here. In this situation of lockdown, it is not possible for them to come to the college and appear for exams.
At first, the university decided that exams of all the students of the respective year would be through online mode. There are many students that went to their home during the mid-semester break. And that is why they do not have access to books and notes.
Moreover, there are many students studying in Delhi University that come from remote areas where they do not have access to an internet connection, smartphones, and laptops? It is really difficult for them to appear for exams through online mode. By concerning all the current situations and problems, the University of Delhi has decided to promote first and second-year students on the basis of their previous semester result and current semester internal assessment.
Now the problem arises is what about final semester/year students? They are under the same situation and bearing the same kind of problems? The University has decided to conduct Open Book Examination for third year/semester students. In favor of all the third-year students, more than 100 teachers from the Department of physics in the letter to the Dean of Examinations have raised their concern about the proposed open book examinations. That have shared their experiences and told the deans that the idea of an open-book examination is a bad one.
The teachers said that they received no institutional help to cope up with the unprecedented situation and difficult circumstances. There were no instructions and training provided to deal with the students. The only letter the varsity wrote was to utilize the time for researched projects undertaken by the teachers. A teacher from Shri Guru Teg Bahadur Khalsa College said that most students went to their place leaving behind their study material, books and laptops.
It is nearly impossible for them to study without these. 1.5 months of teaching was still left before the colleges were closed. She said that before the University decides to conduct an examination, they should help students to collect their study material, make them learn, and then take a test. It might take some time. But at least students would be able to get their study material for studying. But for that purpose, no survey is done.
The teachers too failed to teach properly to the students. In this situation, where the university itself is not able to provide proper education to the students, exams that are going to conduct for final semester/year students, would be unfair and discriminatory. Dr. Abha Dev Habib is a teacher at Miranda House and also the treasurer of Delhi University Teacher’s Association(DUTA). She said, “ OBE is open to mass-cheating. We need a grading system that is more credible.” DUTA conducted a survey and got to know that out of 51000 students, only 50% of students have access to books and study material.
For subjects like Physics, where there is a need to conduct experiments, there has been no lab work during the lockdown. Teachers also said that if first and second-year students could avail their grades on the basis of the previous semester, then why not final semester/year students. A teacher from Kirorimal College raised his concern about the third-year students. He said that if the final semester exams are just one of the six-semester exams, then why there is so much fuss regarding final semester exams?
There are many teachers from DUTA that are relentlessly protesting against open book exams of third-year students. Their main concern is that many students come from remote areas and do not have access to proper internet connection. So it would be discriminatory towards them if the authority conducts open book exams. The letter requested the deans to think again about the decision of an open-book examination.
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