In a memorandum to the University Grants Commission, or UGC, the Postgraduate Students’ Union, Gauhati University, has asked for permission to universities to adopt alternative forms of evaluation for final-year students.
The Postgraduate Students’ Union, Gauhati University, has asked the University Grants Commission, or UGC, to allow universities to use alternative forms of evaluation in place of exams. In a memorandum to the university education regulatory body, the students’ union argued that conducting final year university exams is not feasible, considering the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Assam and India.
According to GU students’ union, holding an offline exam will be risky, no matter how well or strict the procedure may be. The recent UGC guidelines, issued on July 6, have allowed universities to conduct final year exams in online, offline, or blended (online and offline) mode.
“A normal situation, free from pandemic is nowhere to be seen near. As per the current scenario, the COVID-19 cases have crossed 7 lakh mark in India and Assam at total cases of 14,000 and counting,” the memorandum said.
COVID-19 And University Exams
Students of Gauhati University were earlier asked to vacate hostel rooms as the university was turned into a quarantine centre. The student body argued that it will be risky for students to travel back to campus in order to appear for offline exams.
“We have more than 1,500 in-campus boarding final year students and several others who live in private hostels…more than 75 per cent of our students are from different districts,” the memorandum said. Gauhati University has more than 350 affiliated colleges.
“The time in which maintaining social-distancing should be a top priority, the offline exams will instigate social gathering,” the memorandum added.
Online Exam For Final Year Students
The PGSU further argues that conducting online exams will be even more disastrous as many students do not have access to basic requirements like smartphones and good network connectivity.
The decision to conduct final year exams online will “result in deteriorating a student’s as well as their parents’ mental health”, PGSU, Gauhati University, said.