Opposing conduction of examinations during this pandemic situation.

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We the students studying in various courses under VTU, Belgaum are here to state that the students are facing pressure from various sources be it social, academic or professional pressure and thus further that amidst the current circumstances the students are not fit to appear for the examinations.

Also, students from all semesters should be promoted on the basis of their internal examination record and the GPA of previous semesters combined. Even, the final semester students since they've been through the course for longest time and cannot wait anymore to get their degrees must be graded similarly.

After the UGC made a decision regarding the academic calendar and the guidelines to be followed regarding the online internal assessment, we recommend promoting the final year students on the basis of  internal records only. Internal evaluation for the current academic year (2019-20) may constitute 50% of marks and the remainder 50% is derived from the previous seven batches of semester results. Also, we suggest that since students put their best effort in their final year, a 10% increase in average marks derived from previous theory assessments should be granted to every student in an effort to ensure that their GPA does not suffer and can make up for the lost academic year/semester. 

We, also want to raise concerns regarding online teaching stating that though teachers are attempting online teaching, many students do not have proper access to adequate internet facilities, laptops, and online textbooks which has resulted in an unfair penalty. Also in-spite of online classes held by the teachers they cannot be a replacement for physical classes and written notes. Further, the students cannot be satisfied with the online classes till there is parity on access to all infrastructure and the teachers are adequately trained at online teaching, lack of which has resulted in negligible learning outcomes for the students.

Most of the students returned to their hometowns during mid-semester break and they do not have access to required notes, textbooks or any academic material which is a major disadvantage to them.

The conduction examination raises concerns over student's mental health stating the unavoidable uncertainty of their future regarding the masters, jobs, and all the future plans of the final year students, inability to meet their peers and teachers to clear their doubts. In addition to this, many students have stated that they live in a household with cases of domestic violence and the lack of personnel space which needless to say, have jeopardized their mental health severely leading to many of the peers experiencing breakdowns and hence do not have to the capacity or mental facility to appear for the examinations in any form. 

We are concerned over the commencement of exams in July since many students want to pursue their masters from foreign universities whose semesters start in September. Conducting exams in July will further delay the attainment of the degrees and hence students will have to defer their masters for another year. Also, some students have already received placement offers which are set to commence from July/August onwards, if exams are conducted at this point then their job security which is already at an economic loss is further put at risk. 

The UGC recently suggested a reduction of exam duration from 3 hours to 2 hours on which the students expressed their concerns stating if the marks were to remain the same, the reduction of time would only adversely affect the students and they won’t be able to complete their exam on time. also reduction of time anyways won’t suffice the safety precautions needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

We students voice out our opinion in a single sentence stating that “we believe that unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures and one such measure suggested is the cancellation of exams for all the semesters including final year students”.