CHENNAI: The State government has decided to conduct semester exams in all colleges - originally scheduled to begin on January 20 but postponed due to spike in cases - from February 1 to February 20 through online mode.
The higher education department, however, made it clear that the final semester exams, scheduled in May/June, will only be conducted only in offline mode. Higher education minister K Ponmudi, who made the announcement on Friday, said students will write their final semester exams on rotational basis at their respective institutes.
All students in first, fifth and seventh semesters in government arts and science colleges, private colleges affiliated to universities, and engineering and polytechnic institutions will take the exams online simultaneously on the dates announced, he said.
State education officials said that the decision to hold online exams has been taken keeping in view rising cases and to avoid further delay in completing the academic year.
"After Pongal holidays, the cases are surging and there is no certainty when things will become favorable for conducting offline exams. Students are already on study holidays and preparing for exams, hence it is the apt time to conduct exams," said a senior higher education department official.
A section of teachers and college managements, however, are not happy. "Online exams are nothing more than a mere formality as majority of the students copy and write their papers. Only a few take this exam seriously," said principal of a government arts college in Chennai.
Like last year, students will write exam and upload answers sheets online or send them to their institutions. As several rural students had expressed difficulty in uploading answer sheets, the minister on Friday said that sufficient time will be given to rural students to send them by post.