College students panic after Goa CM talks about offline exams – Times of India


PANAJI: There was panic among the student community right from late Monday evening and all through Tuesday after a clip of chief minister Pramod Sawant saying that first and second-year college exams will be held offline went viral. There was confusion as the statement came days before the scheduled online exams are set to begin for first and second-year general stream students from January 4.

“We will have the Class XI exams through offline mode. Class XII exams will surely be held offline. And first and second-year exams too are to be held offline,” Sawant said in the clip that began going viral from Monday evening.

As decided by the Goa University, the January exams are to be held in the physical mode only for final year general stream degree students.

“The January exams for first and second-year students will continue to be online as per the schedule,” Goa University registrar Radhika Nayak told TOI.

Sources in Goa University said that after they were flooded with queries from colleges, students, and teachers on Tuesday, they had to orally clarify to colleges that first and second-year exams in January will take place in the online mode as already decided.

College principals were asked to communicate the information to students to calm their fears.

Sources said that the chief minister in the clip appeared to be referring to plans for the April exams. They said there appear to be plans to hold the year-end exam for the academic year 2020-21 for first-year and second-year students too in the physical mode.

“Already due to the pandemic, the first exams for the academic year, which were to take place in November, are being held in January. For the final year students, the January exam dates were postponed so they begin on January 18 instead of January 4. This was done to give students more time to prepare in view of the pandemic. When the CM’s statement came in, it added to the confusion for students, who are already gripped with uncertainty in the current situation,” a college teacher said.

College teachers had panicked as all preparations for the exams have already been completed. Besides this, many institutes do not have the infrastructure to conduct both first and second-year exams in the physical mode at the eleventh hour.

“We have 120 first-year students and some of our classrooms have only 16 benches, which means we can accommodate only four students while ensuring social distancing. This will make conducting exams in physical mode at the last minute nearly impossible and so we panicked when we started getting flooded with calls from students based on the CM’s video,” a teacher of a college in North Goa said.

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