Coronavirus scare: 'Are exams immune to COVID-19?'

Updated: Mar 16, 2020, 08:08 IST | Pallavi Smart | Mumbai

Teachers, staff, students question MU's contradictory stand as despite govt ordering colleges shut till month-end, varsity directs exams to go on

Students arrive at Wilson College for their HSC exams. Except HSC and SSC, the state government directed that all exams be postponed. File pic
Students arrive at Wilson College for their HSC exams. Except HSC and SSC, the state government directed that all exams be postponed. File pic

While the state government has directed that schools and colleges be shut till March 31 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, confusion reigns over college and university examinations. This especially after the Mumbai University (MU), through a circular, told colleges to continue with practicals and examinations.

Students and staff are questioning MU's ambiguous guideline as the state government on Saturday ordered that all exams except SSC and HSC be postponed. Moreover, teaching and non-teaching staff of colleges and the university are questioning being made to work when academic activities are suspended. Questions are also being raised over the logic behind suspending lectures but not postponing exams amid the Coronavirus pandemic.

A student from K G Mittal College, Mariyamma Varghese, said, "Till Saturday, we were under the impression that exams too will be cancelled. But the university circular on Sunday has caused more confusion." With confusion over how things will proceed, students gave an exam on Friday, got to know that the rest have been postponed on Saturday, but were told that they are back on, on Sunday.

Both, students and parents, are not confident about travelling to college. Some colleges have asked students to take measures such as wearing a mask and using hand sanitisers during exams.

"How does it make sense to suspend lectures but have exams? Are exams and practicals free of infection?" questioned a professor from a Ghatkopar-based college, adding that even as students have been given holidays, teaching and non-teaching staff have no clarity. "Are we immune to infection?" asked the teacher.

"There is ambiguity over the government notification on holidays. Colleges are not going to postpone ongoing or scheduled exams. What is the purpose of measures that prevent gatherings? This is only causing more panic among students and parents," said Santosh Gangurde, vice president of Maharashtra Navnirman Vidyarthi Sena (MNVS).

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