Teachers and principals have endorsed the students’ stand, pointing out that most of them were yet to resume offline classes in colleges and still preferring online teaching, apprehensive of contracting the deadly virus.
You have successfully cast your vote
Exams will be held in offline mode after a two-year gap since March 2020, when the pandemic struck and induced a series of lockdowns across the country, forcing the government and other stakeholders to opt for online mode.
Students, who did not wish to be named, said as the entire teaching was held online, exams should also be conducted in the same mode. According to them, Covid cases have reduced significantly but are yet to completely cease and in such a situation, there is always a risk to them or their family members’ lives. They said that many of them were yet to receive the first or second dose of vaccinations, which made them vulnerable to coronavirus infection.
Supporting their stand, Maharashtra Students Welfare Association (MSWA) president Vaibhav Edke said transportation and accommodation would be a big problem for examinees if they were to appear for offline papers. “Instead, blended mode should be adopted by the university by balancing theory and multiple-choice questions,” he told TOI.
Additionally, added Edke, “The syllabus must be reduced by at least 50% for offline papers, as many colleges are still teaching in online mode.”
Some outstation students complained that their hostels were deployed to accommodate Covid patients and were not ready till date. “Since public transportation has not reverted to pre-Covid levels, we will face plenty of problems while commuting from our native places to Nagpur,” they said.
The students added, “At a few remote places, internet connectivity is a major issue along with load shedding. Therefore, many students could not even complete their syllabus. They will face difficulties while writing theory papers in such cases.”
College teachers and principals accused NU administration of acting in haste for offline exams without considering the ground reality. “NU has entrusted us with offline exams where we have to set the papers, evaluate them and declare the results. It is not possible in such a short period, particularly in the absence of adequate teaching and non-teaching staff. They should have waited for Covid cases to come down further before forcing offline exams on the hapless students,” they said.