BENGALURU: Classes disrupted, exams postponed and delayed graduations... College students in Bengaluru are a worried bunch. For 21-year-old Shruti Nagaraj, a final year student of Psychology at Mount Carmel College (MCC), Bengaluru, post-college plans have taken a back seat due to job opportunities in the field taking a hit. “I’ve been indoors for two months. I had plans to travel and then work in film production for a while. But I don’t know if that’s going to happen anytime soon.
I’m looking for alternative remote job options like copywriting right now, which seem like a safer bet,” says Nagaraj. But that’s not her only worry. Her college’s decision to host the pen-and-paper exams in July is also causing concern, since Nagaraj thinks social distancing is a looming concern. “With the practicals cancelled, pen-and-paper exams are to begin from July 1 for the final year students and out-station students are expected to be back in town and self-quarantining at their own expense.
Despite the social distancing methods planned in college, it’s unsafe as the college happens to be in a containment zone (Vasanth Nagar),” asserts Nagaraj. Agrees another student from MCC who wished to remain anonymous, adding that uncertainties over her exam dates are now affecting a job she was set to commence. She adds, “The company will make a decision over my job based on my exams. So it’s a situation where I am unable to do anything about exams or my job,” she says, adding that while the college was communicating through regular updates, most of them lacked clarity. “While the most logical measure would be to hold a digital exam, many students might not have technical infrastructure and nor does the college have similar facilities,” she adds.
Another student from the department of professional studies, Christ University, stated that while classes wrapped up before the lockdown, issues came up after the exams were postponed. He adds,”Recently, the university announced that exams will be held online and if you cannot give them online in July, you can give them on campus. I don’t have an issue with this but some people do because of poor internet connectivity and are unsure if it will be safe to give exams on campus.” Adding to students’ woes is the delay in communication.
“Recently they put up a You- Tube video giving us some details of the exam but each department will send their own guidelines, so that wasn’t of much help. They uploaded the timetable the following day. A mock test was to be conducted to clear out doubts on the online platform but no dates have been announced for this. So all in all, they barely communicated, even if students asked, they just stalled but took a decision only now,” he says.