Monday, August 3, 2020

TU Exams in Corona Crisis

Birendra Madai
Tribhuvan University (TU) has decided to hold the examinations from 7th Bhadra. The exams were postponed due to the COVID-19 lockdown. This news has raised concerns of thousands of students who will be directly affected by the decision. The student wings of leading political parties have expressed their dissatisfaction over this issue.

The coronavirus pandemic was sudden and news of it taking lives in China, the US and European nations was horrifying. As a result, the government had to call a sudden lockdown in the midst of international chaos and without much preparation. Buses packed with flocks of people rushed out from the Kathmandu Valley for a safer place in their villages. Hence, this decision to conduct exam has surprised most of the students who are now in their hometowns.

Back then anxious students packed their bags in a hurry. It was not a planned departure anyway. The only thing everyone was concerned was their health. So students did not pack their books alongside as future lay uncertain. Similarly, ongoing exams were cancelled for many students. Some of those students managed to reach home before lockdown. However, many more had to wait until the government allowed permission for people to leave by taking reserved buses. Some of the local level governments sent buses to the capital to take their people home.

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Students had not expected that exam schedules would come out amidst lockdown. They went home without books and now they are suffering mental pressure because they are not able to prepare for the exams. Though the lockdown has now come to an end, the long-route transportation services have not resumed. The bus service is going to resume from the beginning of Bhadra. That could also be affected because of a heavy monsoon that may invite landslides and floods affecting the highways.

At first the entire coronavirus stuff has become horrifying for students. It has brought negative psychological effects to them as they had to be locked up for five months in their own house.

In such a situation, the decision of the university has put the students in difficulty.

They will not have access to books until they reach their rented rooms in cities. How can they prepare for exams when they do not have reading materials with them?

The fear of the coronavirus has not decreased as the world still strives to make a vaccine.

In such a critical situation, TU is planning to take the same traditional type of exam which has only worsened the situation for the students. In such a situation conducting exams will only affect the mental state of the students. Research has shown that coronavirus pandemic has brought many mental problems to the people which if not coped well may disturb people for many upcoming years.

So, TU has to think beforehand about the alternatives. For those faculties where students had already appeared for internal exams, that result can be used instead of giving students mental pressure. For others, evaluation can be done by providing research work and assignments. Similarly, other modes of online exams can also be introduced.

If TU is determined to take the traditional format of exams, it has to give students enough time for making preparations. Exams conducted after just one week or fortnight from the day long-route transportation resumes will not test the actual capability of students. It will rather put psychological pressure on them.

source:Birendra Madai,  risingnepal, 3 august 2020

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