‘Open Parliament Before Opening Colleges’: Students To HRD Minister

 

In response to a social media post by the Human Resource Development Minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, many college students wrote against reopening colleges to hold exams and online exams.

Mr. Pokhriyal had tweeted on May 27 that he would be making a major announcement for students who are not in the same districts as their board exams centres due to the COVID-19 lockdown.

However, replying to the minister’s tweet, students from different parts of India demanded cancellation or further postponement of remaining exams.

“Open the parliament before you open schools, colleges, universities, and taking examination of students,” said one post from Jammu, in response to Mr. Pokhriyal’s tweet.Many expressed safety concerns about conducting exams during a pandemic situation. One said: “Are exams more important than life in our country?”

Education, Lockdown, COVID-19

The ongoing lockdown, enforced from March 25 to stop the spread of COVID-19, has disrupted academic activities around the country. All educational institutes, boards had to cancel or postpone their remaining exams and start online classes to continue the teaching-learning process.

However, as India is now going through lockdown 4, many boards and colleges have released revised schedules for remaining exams, following the academic calendar and lockdown guidelines by the University Grants Commission, or UGC. The calendar suggested by the UGC permitted colleges and universities to pass students on the basis of internal assessment and previous semester marks and conduct exams for final year students in online or offline mode.

The idea of conducting online exams was not well-received by the students. Recently, students of Delhi University have protested against the “arbitrary” decision of conducting online, open book exams for final year students.

Some students expressed unwillingness to sit for online examinations, citing lack of resources.