DU Students Protest Offline Exams, Demand Online Format
Hundreds of students demonstrated at Delhi University’s North Campus on Monday demanding that their end-of-semester exams be held in online mode.
Due to the Covid pandemic, DU had switched to online open-book exam mode for students in 2020 and has continued to hold exams in the same format ever since.
Classes were disconnected and the university physically reopened in February. While first, third, and fifth semester students report for online open-book exams, for second, fourth, and sixth semester students, the exams will be held in physical mode after May.
At the protest held at the North Campus Faculty of Arts, hundreds of students from even semesters rallied to demand that their exams also take place in the open-book online exam format. Among the protesting students’ claims is that they are not ready to take the exams offline as they have not had access to readings and physical lessons until recently.
“More than half of our studies took place online. We have been giving exams in online mode for two years, we want the option to be able to be written in this way also for this semester. Indeed, given all the laxity in the teaching process this semester, students do not have enough library and study time to do justice to their curriculum in offline exams,” said Divyanshu, a Protestant sixth-semester student.
However, despite this demand, teachers and principals feel that online exams are not a wise option for these students.
“Starting physical lessons was a popular request and we did, now there is no question of going back to OBE. Students say they are no longer used to taking exams offline, so many colleges are considering conducting mock exams for practice. We have already started them in our college so they can get used to them. Classes are in person, so exams will start after more than two and a half months offline courses,” said Manoj Sinha, Principal of Aryabhatta College.
“Many of us criticized the OBE even when the colleges were closed during the assessment. It is not a proper assessment method for an institute like DU. It is not the answer, but we we have to negotiate with the students and see how we can help them, with extra lessons, keeping the library open longer,” said Rajesh Jha, a professor at Rajdhani College.
DU has already decided that as a one-time measure, students taking the physical mode exams will have an extra 30 minutes to take the exam and more choices in the quiz.