Students enrolled with the Maharshi Dayanand University (MDU) in Haryana's Rohtak have long been stressing the need for online exams, amid the coronavirus pandemic. And not just because of COVID-19, students are voicing several other concerns too, in support of their demand for online exams. This comes at a time when several universities and schools across the country have already decided to not conduct offline examinations, in order to prevent students from contracting the novel coronavirus.
India has already witnessed a peak of the coronavirus second wave, with daily COVID-19 cases reaching as high as 4 lakh along with more than 6,000 casualties. Meanwhile, the government and experts have already warned of an approaching third wave and have even asked the people of the country to be extra cautious at present.
Taking to social media, several students at the Maharshi Dayanand University (MDU) have said they do not feel safe appearing for offline exams as the threat of contracting infection still looms at crowded public places. Some students have said they have or had tested positive for COVID-19 in the recent past. Several students are not even fully vaccinated.
In addition, some students have claimed COVID-19 related patients/casualties in their families, which poses a risk for other students/faculty as well, in case they appear for offline exams.
"Cases have been on a rise and a third wave of the coronavirus is very much possible. At such times, I do not find it feasible on the University's part to call students for exams, especially when our classes too were conducted online," said a student.
What MDU Students Are Saying
Other than the coronavirus, students at the Maharshi Dayanand University claim the university has already issued a notification regarding the examinations. According to the students, their exams had ended on June 30 and the notification regarding upcoming semester exams was issued the very next day, stating the practical exams will begin today (July 20). Now, the students have claimed the syllabus was not even 20 per cent complete as only a few online classes were conducted.
"Online classes were conducted hardly for two weeks and now the university wants us to appear for offline exams," a student said, adding, "We study hard for at least six months before appearing for exams and now such situation has posed many challenges before us."
Apart from the exam notification date, several students from Delhi and Haryana, enrolled with the university have said students residing elsewhere have been allowed to appear for exams through online mode. Only those residing in Delhi and Haryana are being asked to come for offline exams, they said.
Students also complained that the university cites some technical reasons as to why it wants to conduct offline exams. They say the university has already conducted online classes for more than a year and so they have all the required technical equipment.
The university authorities, however, were not available to comment on the matter.