The Delhi University’s decision to hold the final semester and final year examinations online, open book exams as “a one-time measure” has been opposed by student and teacher bodies.
The Delhi University Teachers’ Association, or DUTA, in a letter to the principals of all the colleges under Delhi University, also objects to the decision to conduct mock open book examinations (OBEs). “The conduct of mock OBE will not address any of the problems outlined by students and teachers while expressing their opposition to it as it cannot simulate the real conditions and circumstances which students will face during the real examinations.”, reads the statement.
The DUTA statement, on the decision of colleges to hold mock OBE, said: “The mock tests will put the system into additional stress without any real benefit. Firstly, the use of the college portal will not reflect the real condition when the University portal will be used on the day of the exam.”
“The stability of internet services are not the same at all times so what could work on the day of the mock exam may not work on the day of the real exam”, it added.
Previously, Delhi University had issued exam guidelines for all the students and a separate one for the students with disabilities and the university had also decided to promote intermediate semester students without exams.
Online Open Book Exams
DUTA in the statement appeals to the principals of colleges affiliated under the university to support the students and teachers in their demand for a more rational, academic and credible grading system for terminal semester students.
“The task of academic leadership lies in assessing and responding to real conditions and not in pretending that “all is well” when it is not. The mock drill for the OBE is nothing short of a mockery of the real situations in which our students and their families find themselves today”, it added.
DUTA statement reads, “We urge you, in the best interests of the institutions you head and the students and teachers, to intervene in positive ways by pointing out some of the serious infirmities of the OBE. For the same reason, we appeal to you to not succumb to the pressure to participate in the OBE because the real intent seems to be only to declare it a success. We also appeal to you to stand with your students and teachers in these difficult and trying times”.
DU Open Book Exams and Student
“A decision affecting close to 4 lakhs students in the terminal semesters of postgraduate and undergraduate courses offered in various modes (regular, SOL and NCWEB) and affecting households across the country has been taken without following statutory processes is shocking to say the least,” said the DUTA statement.
According to a survey by DUTA, 85 per cent DU students are against open book exams.
The statement issued by DUTA said: “The DUTA Survey cum Referendum, in which over 51,500 students participated, has shown that close to 50% students did not receive material or could not access it and only 28% students could attend online lectures with some regularity. Close to 34% students could not join any online class. 90% have voted against the idea of any examination at this juncture and 85% have voted against the OBE.”
The association further added that holding the online open book exams will be discriminatory towards the students who had left for home during the start of lockdown or in between without any study material with them. The online classes, conducted by the institutes during the period of lockdown, and the learning environment associated, also had an impact on the teaching-learning process.
The Teachers’ Association in the statement said, “Negligible institutional help was provided to teachers for engaging with students during the lockdown period. As a result, the teaching-learning is far from complete and has been uneven in its reach.”
“Teachers have also pointed out that OBEs are potentially open to malpractices by groups of students as well as private agencies. When malpractice cannot be checked, the system is nothing but a farce”, added the statement.