Even as university students across the city are studying feverishly with just a week to go to the annual exams, visually challenged students are instead having to scramble to find exam writers at the last minute, all thanks to Mumbai University’s inconsiderate planning.
Yesterday, this paper carried a front-page report about how confusion over venues, a tedious documentation process and a general lack of empathy are having an adverse effect on many visually impaired students this exam season.
There are several obstacles to finding writers. Firstly, students have to find younger writers, since older writers might know the subject matter in the exam and give an unfair advantage to the student. While there may be some merit in this argument, the students should at least get more time to find writers within this restriction. The search is hard enough as it is, with fewer people volunteering as writers.
Secondly, the schedule and venue are released very late by the university, which compounds problems for those looking for writers. The students say that when they approach a writer, the first thing they are asked is when and where will the exams be held? Students do not get the answer to this until just a week before the exam, leaving them a very small window within which to persuade writers.
Sometimes, writers are found just a day before the exams.
The university needs to come up with some ideas to resolve this issue. For instance, perhaps the varsity can have a pool of committed writers for these students? Should the onus of finding a writer rest with students, or with the university? If status quo is maintained and students have to continue finding their own writers, that process has to be made smoother for them, with earlier release of schedules and venues. One can only hope that the powers-that-be understand that exams are stressful enough without the added pressure of having to look for writers.
Time to write this wrong, Mumbai University.