Education during Pandemic (p-2)

Why final year exams is a concern?

Final year – it’s the time when students life is at the end of joyful and happy moments with friends in university, making an entrance to the whole new world of opportunities and challenges that welcomes. In a very unprecedented way, the COVID-19 made their lives just uncertain. Final year students who were supposed to be enduring a new era life are now scared about their future. COVID-19 made final year students hard challenge to get jobs, while many companies were laying off their employees in this pandemic.

UGC guidelines in late April had given provisions to states and universities to choose alternate ways for students evaluation to award final year degrees based on past performances & internal assessments since physical sitting of is hardly possible. Again in early July UGC revisited its guidelines and made compulsory final year exams without compromising education quality and academic credibility. UGC permitted education institutions to conduct exam in online/offline or blended mode. Ministry of Home Affairs approved institutions to conduct exams where unlock guidelines says educational institutions to be shut down.

The Federation of Central Universities Teachers Association opposed the UGC guidelines stating that “Final year students had gone through several rounds of formal evaluation and assessments while pursuing their courses”. Some of the famed academicians and states have criticized UGC that revisited guidelines were not practically implementable due to exponential increase in COVID-19 cases. It is argued that “when exams can not be held in April with thousand cases, how can exams be conducted with over a million cases”?

The Supreme Court of India backed the UGC revisited guidelines stating that final year students can neither be awarded a degree nor promoted without exams.

Challenges in conducting exams during pandemic

  • The Standard operating procedure(SOP) issued by GOI isn’t practically possible at a mass gathering of students.
  • The physical exams are nothing but just risking a family life being exposure to COVID-19.
  • Online exams in India isn’t a viable option due to the lack of internet infrastructure and poor connectivity.
  • Many students have to travel back to their respective universities where transportation facilities weren’t available like before.
  • The SOP doesn’t address the students residing in hostels and university premises.
  • Students from flood affected areas and in containment zones.
  • Permitting asymptomatic students to exams will provide an uncomfortable atmosphere for remaining students.
  • Physiological problem and increased stress levels to students.

whatever be the guidelines, we must accept the loss occurred to final year students. It is still uncertain about exams for many students. Also, it is unclear how recruiters would react to this situation. Many students have already cleared interviews are awaiting call letters. Some students have reported that companies did make a call to them and asked if they had completed exams. Admission into higher education is still in a dilemma due to the postponement of exams. Many students were doing part-time jobs to support their family. The crucial time is being exhausted for students when they are supposed to take up a new era of life. I hope all this uncertainty to students will erase as soon as possible.

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