Educators in West Bengal disagree on whether Calcutta University’s move to allow students to write exams from home would help assess their actual performance. Some call for dynamic questioning patterns, others call for delays in the entire process.
Vice Chancellor Sonali Chakraborty Banerjee announced on Wednesday that the university would be holding final exams “in digital mode” from October 1 and that students would be home for their work.
However, former presidential university director Amal Kumar Mukhopadhay said that writing a thesis from home could be anything but an exam.
“Where was the need for such a rush? The authorities concerned could have waited a little longer for the COVID-19 situation to improve. The fight against the coronavirus is more important than writing exams, ”Mukhopadhay said on Thursday.
Questions also arose when CU planned to introduce the “open book system” for its students, whereupon the Vice Chancellor clarified that no such announcement had been made and accused part of the media of misinterpreting her statement on the matter .
“Open book examination system is a technical term. I’ve never used it, but some of the media put words into my mouth. I just said that all affiliated colleges will receive a questionnaire in the mail sometime before the scheduled time for the exam to begin. You can then send the papers to the candidates individually by post or WhatsApp, ”she told PTI.
Students must submit responses via email or WhatsApp, she said.
“If there is a problem with network connectivity, he / she can write the answers on large pieces of paper and send them in a sealed envelope to the respective universities within 24 hours. There is no concept of an open book system …
“This 24-hour window does not mean that students can consult others or refer to books. If a student has not studied the subject for all these months, he cannot find out the answer to a question and write it immediately, ”emphasized the Vice Chancellor.
Renowned Indologist and academic Nrisingha Prasad Bhaduri said the university should not give a full day to students who would come offline for exams.
However, given the security concerns, he supported the concept of writing papers from home.
“It is not easy to consult various course materials during the exam, as is generally believed. In this current situation where candidates are allowed to write papers from home, it is necessary that the question patterns be made flexible and dynamic, rather than those of straitjackets, he added.
Earlier this week, the West Bengal government asked all state universities to hold final exams between October 1st and 18th and publish the results by October 31st.
The Supreme Court recently ruled that no state or university can sponsor students without taking exams for the senior year or semester, and found that performance on such exams is a “reflection of competency.”