Students of Lucknow's Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam Technical University have objected to forthcoming offline examinations, and urged the authorities to consider online mode. Raising students' concerns, the India Wide Parents' Association has written to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Education Minister and Additional Chief Secretary. In a poll, more than 95.6 per cent students said they want to take online exams. In just three hours, over 10,000 students responded and a majority voted in favour of online mode.
"The exams are being conducted in offline mode, and that too at exam centres. According to AKTU tentative center list, we'll find that there will be more than 500 students travelling dailu from their places to exam centers, which is risky for the students," the letter sent to the state government read.
"Throughout the year, the authorities were adherent to online mode of teaching because they understood the risk of the situation. Now all of a sudden, why has every risk been made into thin air? Is COVID over," the students asked.
Students are not demanding cancellation of the exams but are united against offline exams, it said, adding that their "genuine" and "reasonable" plea should be considered and the university should make way for online mode examinations.
"The whole semester in session 2020-21 we have been taught through online due to COVID. In AKTU colleges, more than 80% students are hostellers and live in different cities than the city in which their college is located. The entire semester we have been preparing for taking online MCQ exams. We don't have our books at home since they are issued from the college," a student told India TV Digital.
"AKTU is forcing us to come to colleges and take 3-hour long offline exams. Colleges are forcing us to sign a consent letter that college authorities won't be responsible if any of us get infected and we the students will be held accountable for that," he added.
Another student said about 400 students, in each hostel, will be sharing common washroom and mess. "It would be impossible to maintain social distancing and hygiene. Also, almost all colleges have either conducted exams in online mode or promoted students based on internal assessment," he said.
"AKTU guidelines state that students with fever will have to sit in the same room. This may mean that a student with COVID could infect another who only has fever. It's not a good idea to let these students take exams. Online mode is much safer than offline this year," a student of the varsity told India TV Digital.
"Students like us need to travel almost 1000 kms. Our exam centre is too far from our college in Delhi. AKTU should conduct online exams like other universities did," a student from Kashmir said.