MGU’s practical exam schedule leaves students worried

It is difficult to maintain physical distance inside laboratories, say teachers

The decision by Mahatma Gandhi University to conduct the fourth semester undergraduate practical exams from Wednesday onwards has left a section of the students and teachers worried.

With the pandemic crisis escalating, they suggest that a change in the schedule would help avert the possibilities of getting exposed to the health crisis. The government had already declared that the pandemic curve would worsen in the October-November period. The practical exams were being scheduled till November 14, they said.

Teachers said that it would be difficult to adhere to physical-distancing rules inside laboratories. “We can ensure adequate distancing between candidates inside halls where theory exams are held. But it will not be possible inside labs considering space and other constraints,” they said. The labs will have to be sanitised before the start of practical exams as per the standard operating procedure prescribed by the health authorities. The process will have to be repeated after each session to avoid any potential risks of infection.

Managements clueless

Students residing in other districts pointed out that they would have to travel all the way to their colleges to attend the practical examinations. “We are not sure whether the college authorities will provide us with hostel accommodation. Hostels and canteen facilities had been closed after the nationwide locked down from March-end onwards,” they said.

Many students would have to stay back as they have to appear for the practical for subsidiary papers too. College managements remain clueless on how to open up hostels even as the number of positive cases was going up across the State.

‘No other option’

The university authorities pointed out that the postponement of the schedule for the practical exams would affect the career prospects of supplementary students. “Any delay would affect their chances of applying for higher studies. We do not have other options but to conduct it as per the present schedule,” they said.

On the need for hostel facilities for students, the authorities said that it was up to college managements to arrange the facilities as per the protocol prescribed by the government.

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