Pen-Paper Exam

The insistence of some students of universities and colleges regarding online examinations against proper pen-paper test amid significant decline in COVID-19 is needless. There is growing concern worldwide that the coronavirus infection must not impact teaching or examinations now.

The scenario is different from the first wave. Doing away with examination and choosing a formula that uses best past performance of students or assignment based evaluation was worked out as the situation demanded it. Then, the most educational institutions, if not all, showed commendable alacrity in devising the alternatives to evaluate students in the circumstances which were exceptional. Incalculable risks were involved including threat to life and as such the alternative mode had to be devised to evaluate the students to ensure their career progression.

Since then the situation has changed for the better. 3rd wave is only declining. Instead of protesting for online examinations, the students should concentrate on examinations. Hardline approach on their part does not cohere with the contemporary pandemic situation.  There is no doubt that online mode of education is no way substitute to in-person teaching and students have not been able to prepare as they would in pre-covid era.

The world suffered heavy loss on many fronts during the pandemics and the loss on the academic front is undoubtedly the one that cannot be compensated. The institutions not only lost the number of working days but had to shift to an online mode of teaching and examination. This shift to online mode indeed offered some advantages but the institutions faced some serious issues in such shifts.

The Kashmir University is right that online examinations will not be in the academic interest of students.

The students must understand the genuine concerns of the University and prepare themselves for offline examination as most of the universities in the country have either started offline examinations or are preparing for the same.

At the same time, the authorities should reduce the syllabus but core concepts should be retained. In doing so, the authorities should keep in mind that the reduction in the syllabus should be seen as easing the exam-related anxiety among students. It would also prevent learning gaps created by the pandemic situation. The pandemic has caused a devastating sense of emotional damage, anxiety, and uncertainty among students. There is a need to address various issues systematically.

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