Final year students have decided to reach out to Prime Minister Narendra Modi through an online petition. The petition is in regard to withdrawal of UGC guidelines and cancellation of final year exams. It is initiated by the Joint Forum for Movement on Education (JFME) on change.org. The students have decided to submit it to the PM after receiving 1000 digital signatures.
Problems with UGC’s Guidelines, as per the Petition
The Revised UGC Guidelines instructing universities to conduct final-year end-semester examinations by September have not gone down well with students and this petition explains why.
The petition states the inequalities which exist in education have been amplified even more during the lockdown imposed in light of the COVID-19 crisis by highlighting the differential access to digital devices for online education.
The petition regards the guidelines as illogical. It mentions how UGC’s guidelines claims to be premised on the idea to provide safe, fair, and equal opportunity to students while safeguarding the academic interests of students. However by considering the online examinations as a viable alternative to regular exams, both the premises prove to be ill-founded.
It also highlights the problems with online examinations such as use of unfair means and electricity issues. As per the petition, the guidelines have also ignored the fact that education is in the concurrent list so state lists ought to have a say in the decision.
It asserted that as the UGC claims to have acknowledged the concerns expressed by different State Governments and Universities but this one-size-fits-all approach is not conducive to the diverse population and the diverse situations and circumstances they are currently surviving in including geographical, socio-economic status.
You Might Also Like To Read: Students move SC against UGC guidelines
Viable Alternative for Evaluation, as per the Petition
The petition mentions that canceling final exams will not lead to an undervalued degree as all semesters are modular and autonomous of each other. The final year students have already been through several rounds of formal evaluation and assessments and only a small part of the total evaluation is pending.
“Other forms of credible and meaningful assessment like internal / continuous assessment and / or average scores of past semesters would meet the criteria of fairness and integrity better,” says the petition in favor of alternative modes of assessment.
The UGC has issued guidelines to conduct assessment for intermediate students on the basis of average of past semesters and the internal assessment of the current semester. A similar alternative method can be applied for the evaluation of final semester.
The students seeks immediate intervention of the Prime Minister for the withdrawal the UGC Guidelines, the immediate cancellation of the mandatory requirement of examinations for final year students.