One of Bengaluru's reputed Christ University has decided to hold semester-end exams for non-final year students. As per the students they were taken aback by the announcement. The circular issued to the students suggested, the exams will commence on Monday, July 13, as they were postponed since March 2020 due to COVID-19 induced lockdown.
Ever since the coronavirus pandemic, the entire nation has come to a standstill. Not only business, travel, but schools and colleges have remained shut all these months. As relaxations were announced in the restrictions, the state government gave the green light to the essential board, and final year exams to be held.
But a major decision was taken to promote all non-final year students to the next class without holding an exam. The decisions to promote would be taken based on internal marks and performance review by the respective colleges.
Christ University to hold exams
Christ University informed its students mid-June that they can either appear for the online exam or appear for a physical exam once the university reopens. But there is no word on when the colleges will resume and the decision to hold the online exams led to a protest by students.
IBTimes spoke to several Christ students to understand their plight and concerns. Many said the management was unwilling to understand their situation. The students had even approached the management to cancel the exams citing various reasons including the order issued by the Department of Higher Education of Government of Karnataka, lack of notes and preparations and the challenge of internet connectivity for some to take online exams.
"CHRIST (Deemed to be University) is guided by the UGC Regulations and Guidelines and as such the examinations scheduled from 13 July 2020 as per the decision of the University in accordance with the UGC Guidelines will be conducted as per the schedule announced," the University said in a statement to the students.
Christ University Vice-Chancellor Father Abraham we are told, acknowledged the concerns of the students and said that any connectivity issues will be addressed. He is believed to have said that 94.47% of students had registered and agreed to write the examination to be held on July 13.
Christ students share concerns
Over 12,000 students have opposed the university's decision, many voiced their opinions on social media after the management refused to change its decision. Many felt the University's decision has caused immense mental stress in times of COVID-19 pandemic, which has been challenging to cope with.
The college has reportedly asked students to take the exams on laptops and not mobile phones, something the students have expressed is not feasible by everyone. N
The students also highlighted that the Christ University collected Rs 500 towards the exams, which was in addition to the fees paid in March. With 12 lakh students registered for the exams, the management could have collected somewhere to the tune of Rs 60 lakh.
I personally am not taking the exams because of connectivity issues, but we've been threatened with no preparatory leave for a semester that ended in March, and that portions which have been reduced for this exam to 50% might not be the case for the people who did not opt to take the online exams," one Christ student said.
Several Christ students have created anonymous Twitter accounts, just to share their concerns.
There are students like me who are going through anxiety and are living at home with toxic family members. So upon all these things we don't want our college to conduct exams too. To worry about marks and backlogs and failures. We are humans too. Not some machines," said another worried Christ student.
I am a student of Christ University, I find this one of the most stressful and hardest time yet. Not only have they started a new semester but also have a backlog of the previous. This exam needs to be canceled keeping in the best interest of its students' future and present mental health. There are students who are depressed, stressed, whose families are going through tough times and the university chooses to ignore these pleas and do it for their mere reputation," a Christ student said on the condition of anonymity.
They also told the media that 98% of us applied for online exams, and made it look like it was our choice. But the fact of the matter is that we were given no choice! They told us that if we don't take online exams then we'll have to write offline exams once college resumes, without any preparation leave, along with studying for a new semester. Further it would be even tougher to appear for exams after a longer time gap," another student of the University told us on the condition of anonymity.
The students also raised concerns about the lack of notes and not having prepared for the exams.
University has already started the classes for next semester as well. We are in middle of two semesters which is even more hectic. We started attending classes for the next semester to which we wrote tests and assignments. For this exam again we are going back to the previous semester which we did not touch for like 4 months," another student wrote to us.
IBTimes made several attempts to reach out to the Christ University management for a comment on the matter, but being a Sunday, there was no answer. The article will be duly updated with the University's response.