The open book mock exams conducted by the Delhi University came as a nightmare for students on the very first day itself as they reported multiple issues. Students shared harrowing experiences as they continued to protest the open-book examinations, calling them 'discriminatory.' Using #DUAgainstOnlineExams on Twitter, many wrote about technical issues on the varsity's website while some said the question papers were incorrect. The mock exams will go on till July 8 while the main exams are scheduled July 10 onward. The open-book examinations have been facing staunch opposition from the students. Infact, the academic and executive council members of the Delhi University also wrote to the vice-chancellor strongly urging scrapping of the online open book examinations.
Raising students' concerns, the India Wide Parents Association Saturday wrote to Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and pointed out reasons why the open book online examinations must be cancelled. "The central stakeholders of the academic institution have consistently protested against the said exam. Today, many students witnessed multiple problems during the mock-tests," the letter stated.
It said that teachers and students pointed out at the "unfairness" of the system where a third-party's help can be easily secured if one is a priveleged student. This violates the sanctity of the exam, the letter undersigned by Anubha Shrivastava Sahai, the association's chief, said. The letter also mentioned a "disatrous disadvantage" towards those underprivileged students who do not have good internet access, smartphones or computers to sit for open-book examinations.
A look at some reasons:
The letter mentioning the following reasons has been sent to HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank by the India Wide Parents Association. Similar such letters were written by the parents' association for the postponemeent of JEE and NEET examinations.
Failure of mock exam: Students were unable to register and upload their answer sheets in time. The DU portal kept crashing despite the university being confident enough to declare in court that they were prepared to conduct the examinations, the letter mentioned. "If this is the state during mock exams, how does one believe that this will not happen during the final examinations. We would urge you to scrap the OBE."
Restricted regions: The letter said that students from flood-hit areas like Assam may not be able to appear while people in Kashmir would face issues due to internet restrictions. Students in areas where lockdown continues to be imposed will have a hard time to procure stationary items or visit the CSC to write the exams.
Visually impaired students: The letter also highlighted issues the visually impaired students would face. "The visually impaired are suggested to have a scribe to write the exam but who would volunteer to become a scribe and come into contact with additional people in times of a pandemic. Even if they do, it violates social distancing norms and going to CSC does that too," it stated.
Study material/syllabus: Most students do not have adequate study material. It also highlighted that online classes were hardly able to complete the syllabus. "Few lectures were held but they recorded low attendance since students did not have internet or technology to their aid."