The Joint Forum for Movement on Education (JFME) has started an online petition seeking withdrawal of the University Grants Comminion (UGC) guidelines regarding the holding of final year exams. The petition was started on the platform ‘Change.org’ and will be submitted to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi after it receives 1000 digital signatures.
The petition states that the existing inequalities in education, for instance, the difference in the access to digital devices for online education, has amplified during the lockdown. Thus, UGC’s revised guidelines are illogical.
“In this context, the recently released ‘UGC Revised Guidelines on Examinations and Academic Calendar for the Universities in view of COVID-l9 Pandemic’, propose illogical and unacademic solutions for evaluating and granting degrees to students,” the petition says.
The petition adds that UGC’s guidelines are supposedly premised on the idea to provide safe, fair, and equal opportunity to students while safeguarding the academic interests. It also says that online examinations are a viable alternative to regular exams but the petition says that both these premises are ill-founded.
The petition says that apart from the growing number of Covid-19 cases, there are also problems of electricity, which may create difficulties in conducting fair online examinations. The guidelines also ignore the fact that education is in the concurrent list and hence state governments ought to have a say in the decision.
The petition has also listed reasons which question the credibility of conducting online examinations. It says that online or blended mode of examinations cannot match up to the standards of regular exams when it comes to credibility and integrity of the process.
The online or blended form of examination is also discriminatory towards those without books, notes and online resources and stable internet connection. It is also discriminatory to differently-abled students and those from an underprivileged background.
“Other forms of credible and meaningful assessment like internal / continuous assessment and / or average scores of past semesters would meet the criteria of fairness and integrity better,” says the petition in favor of alternative modes of assessment.
It also adds that canceling final exams will not lead to an undervalued degree since all semesters are modular and autonomous of each other, students are examined on the courses covered in only one semester and there is no overarching final examination.
The forum seeks immediate intervention from PM Modi for the withdrawal of the UGC Guidelines.
Source: NDTVNational, News