Students have been awarded their board results and final semester certificates in the 2020-21 season owing to the Coronavirus scare. Most universities were unable to conduct the final examinations and, as a result, have awarded the degrees based on the average marks that the students have scored in their class exams. Even though there were not many options this year, many academicians are of the opinion that this average marking might create a lot of problems in the days to come. Foreign institutions might not accept these degrees and getting admission would become a difficult thing.
UGC is Concerned
UGC (University Grants Commission), the apex body of higher education in India, has expressed concern in this regard. The chairperson has clearly said that instead of this average marking, the academic institutions should use the online method or expand their exam schedule to accommodate most of them. He believed that these aggregate markings might create a lifelong problem as in the degree marksheets, it would have to be mentioned that no final examination was taken due to the adverse circumstances.
Why is Online Not a Feasible Option?
Delhi University and some of the IIT’s went on with the online exam amid massive protests by students. The protests took place as, for a vast number of rural students in India, fast internet continues to be a luxury.
On this ground, conducting mass-scale online examinations was never a good option, to begin with. Access to the internet is quite limited to the urban conglomerate. In the rural side, although it is available but the speed remains an issue even today.
In addition to that, the commission felt that there is a massive chance of malpractices once the examination is conducted in the online format. Students will have the option of using Google to get answers, books/notes and the assistance of parents and friends are also available as it is a home-based exam. Even though advanced softwares is available, universities and exam centers were reluctant to invest such a lot of money just for a temporary situation. Hence, the idea of the online exam had to be scrapped.
Student’s Miss Out a Fair Chance
Many professors believe that average students who were slogging hard to do well in the final exams suffered the most. Even though it is a rare occasion that an average student would suddenly do well but, it has been observed that the percentage increases by a certain margin during the boards and final semesters owing to lenient checking, moderate questions and objective answering pattern. Should any of them take the legal route, both the university and the commission would get into trouble. Just merely suggesting that they are incapable of conducting an exam due to the virus, will not be enough to satisfy all stakeholders in this regard.
However, faculties of most universities believe that India can easily follow the open book examination system of the west. However, to do that, all the questions need to be application-based, as a typical theory or numericals would easily be solved by going through the book. Indian education is going through a transformational time with online tutoring, exams, study material and results becoming the new normal. In this situation, students are desperately buying more gadgets; bet it a laptop, tablet, or PC and are looking to improve their learning experience.
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