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Through your newspaper, I wish to bring to the notice of the general public regarding the conduct of the recently concluded so-called Online Examination by the North Eastern Hill University. Firstly, it was an embarrassment, punishment, and harassment for the students to stand for hours at the Post Office to courier their answer scripts, defying all the health protocols of Covid 19, issued by the Health Department and the District Administration. Is it not impractical that after writing the examinations in the online mode, students were made to come out of their homes to mail their answer scripts by registered post? Secondly, the conduct of the Online Examination 2020 is unethical because the Environment Studies paper was held in two login sessions, where colleges are grouped into the 9 AM slot and the 1 PM slot. However, the questions for both the slots are the same. Is this not an unethical exercise? I appeal to the Students Union, the Teachers Body of Colleges and University to look into the matter in the interest of the student’s community.
Who will be held accountable?
North Eastern Hill University (NEHU), a premier central university is always in the news for one or the other reasons, but this time the University is making waves both in the news media and social media for the way they have conducted the final year University Examination for the year 2020. It must have been a roller coaster ride for the final year students of NEHU right from the day the routine was declared until they were successful in sending their scripts to the respective colleges via Speed Post.
It is indeed a very unpleasant experience for the students at this juncture when their minds are unsettled by the Covid fear and the pressure of examinations and to add to their woes NEHU left no stone unturned to give extra pressure to the final year students. Initially, UGC had given the deadline of September 30, 2020 to complete the final year examination. But after the discussion with the Education Minister of Meghalaya, UGC agreed to postpone the examination to October 7, 2020. Soon after that the students were given notice that they can choose the online or offline mode to appear for their examination. But soon after the University clarified that students cannot opt for the offline mode due to inconvenience during this pandemic situation. Again after a few days, students were informed that they have to appear in the online mode via an online application,”My Placement Perfectice.”
Then the students were also asked to appear for the mock test between October 3-5, thereby engaging students in an activity which is not productive for them just a couple of days before their final examinations – a time which is very crucial time for students. The students need to download this app through play store. The students were also asked to write down the answer in A4 size paper, make the pdf of it and submit it online. Apart from this the students were also asked to courier their answer sheets via Speed Post to their respective colleges. Now the situation is such that hundreds of students queued up in GPO, Shillong and other post offices for several hours just to courier their Answer sheets to their respective colleges.
At a time when the number of Covid cases are rising in Meghalaya, these students are risking their lives just to courier their answer sheets. Are the students and the employees in the Post offices already vaccinated against Covid -19 that they are insulated from this deadly pandemic? In fact if the students had been asked to submit their answer scripts directly to their respective colleges this unpleasant situation would not have arisen. The University and the colleges could have easily managed as the students would have been distributed in different colleges without resulting in crowding as had happening on that fateful day.
Courier options could have been given to students who are out of station as it would have been helpful for those students. In case any unpleasant situation arises then who is going to take the responsibility? Will the University be responsible? Will the Government be held accountable which had assured that examinations would be conducted following strict protocols?
Anil Singh Roka
NEHU online exam anomalies!
The Online Examination 2020 conducted by North Eastern Hill University (NEHU) for Sixth Semester concluded on Wednesday. But the confusion, commotion, stress and anxiety that students had to battle is far from over. Under pressure from the Government and the UGC, our ill-equipped NEHU tried to complete the Online examination within the stipulated deadline, but at the cost of its students.
Given the significant number of candidates, appearing for the Online Examination, it is a reasonable guess by any, that the speed and the quality of internet performance will be greatly affected during the period of examinations. Many candidates are unable to download and answer online the Mock Test of the EVS Paper in the MCQ format held from October 3. Hence, the University had resort to temporary, ordinary, and casual arrangement for the conduct of the Environmental Studies (EVS) paper which was held on the October 7. One of the arrangements made by NEHU in order to reduce the network load is that the EVS Paper held on the October 7 was conducted over two sessions ( 9 AM to 12.00 Noon & 1.00 to 4.00 PM ). The students were informed about these changes a day before the exam, which was on October 6. Serious doubts and apprehensions were raised by students in this context. A question was raised whether two separate sets of question papers were supplied over the two sessions? Since, this paper was not conducted cent percent in online mode, because a number of candidates were not able to login and download and answer the paper online, the question paper was supplied to the student’s email id.
We parents are apprehensive about this matter. How can the students from the colleges including some of the elite colleges of Shillong get the added advantage of appearing for the EVS Paper in the Second Sessions with the same question paper supplied to the candidates of the First Session Colleges? In fairness to students, NEHU must give each student the same treatment. The issues are especially worrisome and pressing as a matter of justice to the students.
NEHU must clear the doubts and apprehensions of students and their parents on these very serious examination anomalies.
A concerned parent,