COVID-19: Conducting exams in varsities in MCQs format not possible various, say teachers

New Delhi, July 23

Conducting exams in universities in Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) format in view of COVID-19 pandemic just isn’t a possible various because it can not take a look at college students’ analytical expertise and college students pursuing topics equivalent to literature can be at an obstacle, academicians have identified.

The issues by teachers come in opposition to the backdrop of the Delhi High Court asking the University Grants Commission (UGC) to make clear if last 12 months examinations of the schools be performed primarily based on MCQs, open selections, assignments and shows, as an alternative of long-form exams.

The UGC officers, nevertheless, maintained that over 6,000 universities within the nation have already performed exams for last 12 months college students or are planning to conduct them.

Earlier this month, the UGC in its revised tips directed the upper training establishments that last 12 months examinations be performed in September 2020, as an alternative of July 2020, as per its tips introduced in April.

Punjab, Maharashtra, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Delhi have introduced reservations in opposition to the plan, citing the COVID-19 scenario.

Rajesh Jha, a political science professor and government council member of DU, stated: “Our students are not prepared for a new format of exams. They have been taught to analyse things and will be caught unprepared for any new format. All of a sudden you cannot impose a system. You need to test it before implementing it. Coronavirus time cannot be used for experimentation.”

Pankaj Garg, a professor at Rajdhani College, stated: “The format of exams decide how students are taught. For MCQs and even for open book exams, the students have to be taught in a certain way but in Delhi University, students have not been taught in a way that they can take exams in such a format.”

“Plus, problems are multiplying — coronavirus cases are on the rise and students in Assam and Bihar are also facing issues due to floods. Internet connectivity is already an issue and the flood situation has complicated the connectivity situation, so even if the MCQ format exams happen they will happen in an online format which will not be feasible for students,” he stated.

Saikat Ghosh, an English professor on the Shri Guru Tegh Bahadur Khalsa College and Academic Council member, stated: “The way the subjects and the syllabus have been designed, we teach those subjects even at the undergraduate level in a fair amount of detail and we encourage students to show analytical skills. Analytical skills cannot be tested through the MCQ format, which favours information.”

“It is not feasible for the way in which students have been taught or even the content of the syllabus. In literature, the MCQ format, it’s not going to work. The alternative to open book exam is not MCQ,” Ghosh stated.

The Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA) has referred to as a gathering on Thursday to debate the difficulty.

“There is a DUTA meeting scheduled later in the day on the issue. Even if MCQs will happen, they will happen online and we are against the conduct of online examinations,” stated a DUTA member requesting anonymity.

According to a senior UGC official: “The guidelines have not stated that the exams have to be conducted right away, the exams have to be concluded by September end. States can devise a calendar whenever it is feasible to conduct exams in this timeline. Also, the exams can be conducted either online, offline or in blended mode. Totally doing away with exams is not a feasible situation.”

Universities and colleges throughout the nation have been closed since March 16, when the Centre introduced a nationwide classroom shutdown as one of many measures to comprise the COVID-19 pandemic.

The lockdown was introduced on March 24 and it got here into impact the following day. While the federal government has eased a number of restrictions, colleges and schools proceed to stay closed. PTI

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