by Khalid Bashir Gura
SRINAGAR: The B. Tech. students of the third semester, Government College of Engineering and Technology (GCET) Safapora, Ganderbal, staged a protest at Press enclave Lal Chowk and demanded their exams should be conducted through online mode amid the ongoing COVID19 pandemic.
Holding placards and banners in their hands, the engineering students demanded justice with their career and mental health. The placards read: “Stop traumatizing.”
Haris Shafi a student of 3rd semester said, “In two years we have just completed two semesters and the third semester started before pandemic but the exams are yet to be conducted.”
The protesting students claimed that they had already been imploring authorities of Cluster University to conduct online exams like other colleges and universities without further delays, the authorities are delaying and dragging degrees.
They alleged that they are not being apprised of the mode of exams as further delays and uncertainty is leaving them frustrated and averse to academics. “We are already in the eighth month of the third semester. What is the harm in conducting it online?” said one of the protesting students, adding that we have boycotted online classes for the fourth semester as the exam of last semester is yet to be conducted.
Demanding conduct of online exams at earliest, the protesting students said: “We are being overburdened and stressed mentally as we are expected to study two semesters simultaneously. We cannot pursue the fourth semester with the burden of the previous.”
Authorities at Cluster University, however, said that there are two groups of students; one who wants exams be conducted and the others who want it to be delayed for a multitude of reasons.
Controller of Examination, Cluster University, Srinagar, Khursheed Ahmad Mir said, “In the ending July, we deferred it because many students said that their syllabus is yet incomplete. In mid-August after getting correspondence from the concerned principal that the syllabus is complete and we subsequently issued exam forms.” The authorities were approached by students, expressing inability to submit forms because of financial difficulties. “We extended the deadline to Sep 6. The delays were due to reasons: last year it was due to abrogation of article 370 and this year due to pandemic.”
In order to save the students time, the authorities directed students to start studying the next semester without waiting for the exams of the third semester. The university is preparing for offline exams. The procedure takes time, especially amid pandemic. “For the convenience of students, there will be only MCQ’s format, unlike earlier descriptive exams.”