Delhi University on 10 April, 2021 released the datesheet for final semester (May-June). According to the datesheet, the examinations will be commencing from May 15, 2021 and will end by last week of June. Owing to the Covid-19 restrictions, Delhi University announced online (open book examinations) mode for conducting the semester exams.
However, visuals and images are splashed over TV screens, newspapers, and social media of constant spiking of Covid-19 positive cases. Students and teachers are not standing far from the consequences. In the wake of the prevailing pandemic outbreak situation, final-year students and teaching staff are demanding a deferment in the examinations that are scheduled in the next month.
In this regard, active student organizations have appealed to the university and issued an online petition which demands the postponement of the exams as this is not the right time for the students to sit through an exam. #StudentsLivesMatter is trending among the students to file a petition on change.org asking for either cancellation or deferment of the exams.
“Covid-19 has in the past month wreaked havoc on the lives of so many of us – our families, friends, professors are all reeling from its onslaught. The virus has taken too many lives, and each day is a struggle to keep ourselves physically and mentally strong and safe. In light of the fear and uncertainty that this has brought us to, it is quite appalling that students and teachers alike are expected to proceed with scheduled OBE. The distress of times should have warranted a sensitivity to our well-being, overriding this need to achieve targets and keep to schedule.” read the petition.
Standing on the same side of the opinion, teachers of delhi university appealed to the acting Vice-Chancellor P C Joshi to postpone the final-term examinations. According to DU officials, at least 500 teachers and 30 percent of the students have tested positive for the Covid-19, and more than 10 teachers and staff have succumbed to the virus.
“We are getting disturbing news from our students every day. Several students have lost their parents or some family members. Many are running from pillar to post to arrange for medicine, bed and oxygen for their dear ones,” said Pankaj Kumar Garg, a former member of the academic council and a teacher at Rajdhani College.
Ratnesh Rajan Saxena, another member of the academic council, said: “Many teachers have been given for exam duty and asked to prepare question papers. Many of them have already confided that they are not in a position to set the question papers. For a student, it will not be safe to come to the exam center. Hence, we request the varsity to defer the exams.”