A group of eminent educationists wrote to the University Grants Commission (UGC), asking it reconsider making exams for final-year college students mandatory.
In a letter to UGC chief DP Singh, the educationists said the regulator’s latest advisory on examinations was unfortunate because it took “us backwards rather than forward”.
The decision effectively extended the period for holding of exams (for final year/semester cohorts) until September, the second such postponement. And it creates fresh uncertainty for states that had already decided to cancel exams, read the letter that counted former UGC chairman Sukhdeo Thorat among many signatories.
“…we are reiterating the reasons why many teachers and institutions had argued for cancelling the exams and declaring results based on previous performance. The recommendation to cancel exams was prompted by an unprecedented health emergency, not by doubts about the value of examinations,” it said.
When faced with such an emergency, cancelling exams has two main advantages: First, it avoids the extended uncertainty created by repeated (but unavoidable) postponements. Second, it protects the integrity of the examination by refusing to abandon its two most basic features – impartiality, or equal treatment of all examinees; and close supervision to prevent cheating, it said.
Given the realities facing the overwhelming majority of our students and institutions, examinations held in the “online” or “mixed” modes will be biased because they will favour students with better access to the internet.
A UGC officials said the commission has come to decision after extensive consultations. While most exams stand cancelled, we have only kept the option open for passing out students, in view of their career prospects, the official said.