THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: It’s been over a year since they attempted their first and second semester examinations. Yet, post-graduate students in various colleges affiliated to the University of Kerala are yet to know their results, though only a couple of months are left for their course to end. The results of the semester examinations of various degree courses are also facing similar delay. While some blame the ongoing spat between the Vice-Chancellor and the Syndicate as reason for the sorry state of affairs, others point fingers at the ‘non-cooperation’ of teachers towards the valuation process.
Take for instance the MA Political Science course offered by the university. Besides delaying declaration of the results of the first and second semester, the varsity has postponed the dates of the third semester examination thrice. Due to the prevailing uncertainty, fourth-semester classes have not yet begun, posing a big question mark on the future of the affected students.
“Not only are we denied a chance to attempt improvement exams, it can also affect our future prospects. With the results in limbo, it also hampers our plans to join courses such as BEd after post-graduation. In effect, we are poised to lose an academic year for no fault of theirs,” said a student.
Teachers blamed for impasse
According to some members of the Syndicate, meeting of key committees, including the examination committee, was delayed indefinitely due to the ‘non-cooperative’ stand of the Vice-Chancellor. This, they claim had delayed important decisions relating to examination and monitoring the existing system. Another section has blamed teachers and a section of the university staff of ‘torpedoing’ the examination reforms mooted by the Syndicate.
“From this academic year, the Syndicate had mooted many exam reforms, including appointment of nodal officers in affiliated colleges to streamline the valuation process. This was done to avoid shutting down of colleges for days together on account of valuation and to do away malpractices associated with valuation camps. However, a section of the university staff and the teachers torpedoed the move,” said B S Jyothikumar, Syndicate member.
He added that answer scripts to be valued by each teacher was systematically divided and distributed in colleges. Though extra remuneration was also offered for answer scripts over and above their quota, the teachers took a non-cooperative stand. Finally, the university had to resort to the valuation camp system due to pressure from teachers’ associations. This resulted in colleges being shut down for 10 days owing to valuation duty.
Teachers blame varsity
According to the teachers’ association representatives, maximum attendance was ensured at the recently-held valuation camps. But the teachers who were relieved from colleges had to wait for four days at the valuation camp without any work as the university failed to distribute the answer scripts on time. “Aided college teachers are compelled to value answer sheets of students from self-financing colleges. Interestingly, the self-financing colleges do not send their teachers to the valuation camps to ensure that classes are not disrupted,” said K L Vivekanandan, general secretary, All-Kerala Private College Teachers’ Association (AKPCTA). “This results in heavy workload for aided college teachers. Remuneration for valuation duty has also been pending for many years,” Vivekanandan said.
Solution in sight?
According to Syndicate member K H Babujan, the entire examination process of the university needed a thorough overhaul. “The examination committee, along with the convenors of the finance and staff committees will meet on Wednesday to discuss ways to iron out the issues relating to examinations.
The meeting of the committee was delayed for months on end as the Vice-Chancellor did not convene it on time,” he said. An earlier meeting of the Syndicate had tasked the examination committee to study the impasse relating to examinations and suggest remedial measures. However, critics say implementation of the proposals would not benefit students who are already affected due to delay in result declaration.