- Many of our fellow students are still in their respective hometowns and it will be difficult for them to travel back to Mumbai for physical exams,” said Mandar Shirke, a student representative from Sindhudurg district.
PUBLISHED ON FEB 23, 2021 06:30 PM IST
Days after the Mumbai municipal corporation deferred reopening of colleges due to the rising Covid-19 cases in the city and around the state, several student groups have approached the vice chancellor of the University of Mumbai, requesting him to conduct the upcoming summer examination session in online mode only.
In a letter addressed to VC Suhas Pednekar, students from several MU affiliated colleges have highlighted the plight of students who have spent the last two semesters studying and preparing for exams in online mode but are now worried that colleges and the university might insist on the exams being held in offline mode.
“While the pandemic was at its peak, the university considered the health and safety of students and teachers and ensured exams were being held online but now, several colleges are suggesting offline exams for the summer session, which will be unfair to students who have been preparing for online exams for two semesters,” said a representative for Maharashtra Students Welfare Association. Many have also shared their concern on various social media platforms in order to garner more support.
“Any decision on exams will only be released after we hear from the civic authorities or the state government. As of now, we are yet to hear about the status of reopening of colleges from the civic authorities and following that, we will make a statement on summer exams,” said an official from MU.
Earlier this month, state education minister for higher and technical education Uday Samant announced that colleges can reopen with not more than 50% attendance on campus at any given point of time. MU affirmed this move with a circular asking colleges to approach local civic authority or the collectors office before restarting physical classes in a phased manner. The circular also shared Covid-19 safety guidelines prescribed by the University Grants Commission (UGC) to ensure safety of staff and students.
On February 12, however, after a meeting between officials from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and MU, the civic officials asked to postpone reopening of colleges by a week until February 22. The idea was to see if restarting of local trains for general public makes any effect on total Covid-19 cases in the city. MU has now asked all affiliated colleges in Mumbai city and suburbs to delay reopening of colleges until further notice by the authorities.
“With rising cases, it looks like colleges will continue conducting online classes and therefore, we request the university to hold exams also online only. Many of our fellow students are still in their respective hometowns and it will be difficult for them to travel back to Mumbai for physical exams,” said Mandar Shirke, a student representative from Sindhudurg district. He added that rising cases of Covid-19 in smaller towns is adding to the anxiety levels of parents, and therefore, line exams will save everyone from unnecessary anxiety.
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