With the ongoing debate of whether examination should be conducted or not at Delhi University, the University yesterday rolled out a press release stating that examination will be conducted for final year students in the month of July. Many Universities have decided not to conduct the examination in the midst of a global pandemic are thinking of alternate ways to ensure that students don’t suffer.
While the Delhi University Teachers Association from Day 1 has been against the online examination, student organizations like ABVP, NSUI & AISA have also protested against the decision. AISA today conducted an online protest on Twitter where they trended the hashtags #DUAgainstOnlineExams & #EducationWithoutExclusion. NSUI, on the other hand, has started a petition which has already garnered 60,000 signatures. ABVP too has sent a list of suggestions to the Vice-Chancellor today where they have asked the University to discuss the issue with all stakeholders before arriving at any decision.
The University of Delhi in a circular issued on 11th May 2020 asked all stakeholders to share their opinion with the Working Group deciding on the fate of examination but on 13th May 2020, a letter to HOD’s went viral where they were asked to prepare for Open Book Examination. If this wasn’t enough, on 14th May 2020, the University issued another circular where they announced examination in July for final year students. This raises an important question – Did the University receive enough suggestions in less than 3 days which helped them to make a decision?
As a leading college media platform, we saw that the opinion of students which matters the most before taking any decision in this regard was completely ignored. With little or no classroom teaching taking place during this whole semester, it is astonishing that students have been asked to sit for exams. From DUTA strike to CAA protests and then Coronavirus, academic activity hasn’t really taken place at Delhi University. The University has failed to declare the results of a few courses even after 5 months of taking the exams, while results which have been announced are also being questioned by the student community at large.
We on 13th May 2020 decided to conduct a survey involving Delhi University students to share what the ground situation feels like and within 48 hours, we received more than 12,000 responses. This is the largest survey that has taken place in Delhi University in regard to online classes and online examination.
A total of 12,214 students from more than 35 colleges participated in the survey which asked them 12 questions in regard to online examination and online classes. 44.3% of respondents belonged to the Arts stream, 29.4% of respondents belonged to the Commerce stream and 26.3% of respondents belonged to the Science stream.
The University also needs to think about international students who are in their home country currently and traveling would be tough. One such female student from Afghanistan told us ”I’m not able to give exam because I’m at Afghanistan and there’s no better internet connection soo kindly do something for these students.”
29.4% of respondents belonged to the first year, 30.2% of respondents belonged to the second year and 40.4% of respondents belonged to the third year. Only 34.3% of students answered that their teachers are taking online classes while 46% of students said that not all teachers are taking online classes and 19.7% of students said that teachers aren’t taking online classes. It should also be noted that 53.8% of these students haven’t been able to attend online classes.
75.6% of respondents don’t have a laptop to attend classes or sit for exams while 79.5% of respondents don’t have a broadband connection at their home. 64.3% of respondents answered that they don’t have a stable mobile internet connection.
76% of students said that they don’t study material available for exams while 76.2% of students feel that the study material shared by teachers hasn’t helped to understand the syllabus fully.
A student from Ladakh who studies at Delhi University told us ”I live in Ladakh n there are network issues in my village but there is also a student in Ladakh who studies in DU who have no network connection in their village. So it is impossible to give an online examination. I request not to give an online exam. And an evacuation of LadakhI student from Delhi has started, those students who were planning to go home are now having doubt.”
Thousands of students like her can’t appear for exams online and traveling to Delhi under current circumstances seems hard.
85.5% of students who participated in the survey said that they aren’t in favor of conducting online classes and 69.3 of students answered that their household conditions aren’t good enough to sit and take a 3-hour long examination online.
66.1% of students are in favor of giving open book examination/MCQ tests if exams were to happen while 33.9% of students wished to give a theoretical exam.
65.9% of students are in favor of getting graded on the basis of past performance while 34.1 students want to appear for exams post lockdown.
We’ll be sharing our findings with the University of Delhi to help them arrive at a better decision. Students can also use this survey to their maximum benefit.
Download the full survey here