by Mir Suneem
The recent decision by University of Kashmir (KU), to amend semester examination of undergraduate students to “ease the burden of examination workload” and to complete their courses on time, has irked many students.
The examination controller of KU, Prof. Farooq Ahmad Mir issued a notification (March 3) to rearrange the existing semester examination by introducing multiple choice based question papers, exclusively in even semesters and descriptive question papers in odd semesters in order to conduct examinations timely and ease the workload on students.
Prof Mir said, “The decision is meant for undergraduate students pursuing general courses in various colleges affiliated with the University of Kashmir.”
He said that although the semester scheme that was introduced in 2015 at UG level has many advantages for the students to offer but at the same time, it has increased examination workload manifold and this system at the undergraduate level will not yield desired results unless examinations are conducted well in time.
“The end term examination followed by backlog examination of different semesters will result in an endless vicious examination circle where no course will be completed within the stipulated time as happened in past,” the notification reads.
The controller examination in the notification said, “Prudence suggests that we must learn from past mistakes and take appropriate decisions in the interest of students.”
However, not many students are satisfied with this sudden decision of the University. They said they were already disappointed with the semester examination system and this current rearrangement in examination lies in the least of our interests.
“We are students, for God’s sake and not meant for such flimsy experiments. The University cannot judge the ability of a student on the basis of this odd-even system. This is our career and not any traffic system that they can be controlled by taking such vague measures. This is the worst possible damage control they could do and certainly reflects their non-serious approach towards our education,” said Irtiza, a student of Kashmir University.
Another UG student, Adil Fayaz also expressed resentment over this decision of the University and said that the institution is playing with our education and careers. “They are not able to take exams on time and now they are trying to fill their loopholes by risking our educational career and taking such bogus decisions without considering our goodwill.”
He said, “This is a very unfair decision. The syllabus is going to remain the same so we fail to understand how this is going to decrease our workload. We are not able to understand what we are meant to study for exams in case of an objective type paper.”
Salma, an undergraduate student of 4th semester also pointed out the flaws in this new rearranged system of semester exams and said, “This strategy might be able to tackle the issue of completing the degree on time but that degree would lag in multiple aspects. While the students of other colleges and universities would be following the standard format, we in the process of lessening the burden won’t be able to learn as much and this would eventually halt the opportunities in our way.”
However, some students welcomed the decision as a first step to improve the disturbed examination system in the institution and said they should cooperate with the university and give it a chance.
“It will surely reduce the workload and if exams are held on time, we will also get our degrees at the right time so we can apply for higher studies in any college or university outside the state without wasting a year,” said a student, Arfa Aslam.
Apart from the students, the teachers at various degree colleges would be equally affected by this decision as they have to vary their time table and teaching style according to the new pattern.
“The new arrangement can definitely balance out the examination system and undue the burden on students but it is not possible to judge the decision as good or bad at this stage unless it is implemented and tested,” said a professor of a degree college in Srinagar.
He said that the University must revisit the scheme later after taking the feedback from students, teachers and other concerned bodies in case it works or not “but what is more important here is that the University is responding to the grievances of students and trying to undo the damage and improve the system by taking such measures,” he said.
Earlier, the University of Kashmir in line with the directive of University Grants Commission had introduced semester system in 2015 and then the Choice Based Credit system in 2016 at UG Level.
While talking to Kashmir Life, the controller examination, Prof Mir said, “a decision has already been taken for 2016 batch according to which their 5th and 6th semester exams will be clubbed together wherein their 5th semester question paper will be based on descriptive type questions and 6th semester on objective type and the new decision has been taken for the rest of the batches.”
In the notification issued by him it is stated that, “KU has rearranged existing examination pattern at UG level by introducing MCQ based question papers exclusively in even semesters and descriptive question paper with short, medium and long answer type questions in odd semesters.”
The Controller Examinations informed that 2nd-semester examination of batch 2018 will be tentatively held in April end and 4th-semester examination of batch 2017 in June 2019 beginning. “The examination of 1st-semester batch 2019 will be held in June 2019,” it added.
Prof Mir in the notification said that the present dispensation in the KU has taken a slew of measures to stem the rot for which the students have to extend full cooperation to make the new examination policy of the university a success.
The notification warned, “Otherwise they (students) alone will have to suffer for the delay in the examinations and result declaration, which will ultimately tell upon their craving for higher academic pursuits as no other university will wait for the declaration of their results beyond their academic schedule.”