DU students stage protest against offline exams, demand online format; not feasible, say teachers – The Indian Express

Hundreds of students protested at Delhi University’s North Campus on Monday demanding that their end semester examinations be conducted in the online mode.
Due to the Covid pandemic, DU had shifted to the online open book exam mode for students in 2020 and had been continuing to hold exams in the same format since. Classes moved offline and the university reopened physically this February. While students of first, third and fifth semesters are appearing for online open book exams, for students of second, fourth and sixth semesters, the exams will be held in the physical mode after May.
At the protest held at the Arts Faculty, students in the even semesters demanded that their exams too be held in the online open book exam format. Among the claims by protesting students is that they are not prepared to appear in offline examinations since they have not had access to readings and physical classes till recently.

“More than half our studies happened online. We have been giving exams in the online mode for the last two years, we want the option to be able to write it in that way for this semester as well. This is because given all the laxities in the teaching process this semester, students are not left with sufficient library and study time to do justice to their syllabus in offline exams,” said Divyanshu, a sixth semester student.
Despite this demand, teachers and principals believe that online exams are not a sensible option for these students.
“Starting physical classes was a popular demand and we did that, now there’s no question of moving back to OBE. Students are saying that they have become unaccustomed to writing offline exams so many colleges are discussing conducting mock exams for practice. We have already begun these in our college so that they can get used to it. Classes have been happening in person so the exams will start after more than two and a half months of offline classes,” said Aryabhatta College principal Manoj Sinha.
“Many of us were critical of OBE even when colleges were shut during the assessment. It is not a suitable method of assessment for an institute like DU. That is not the answer, but we need to negotiate with students and see how we can help them, with extra classes, keeping the library open longer,” said Rajdhani College teacher Rajesh Jha.
DU has already decided that as a one-time measure, students who will be appearing for exams in the physical mode will be given an additional 30 minutes to write the exam and more choices in the question paper.

Meanwhile, students claimed some of them were detained by police. Sagar Singh Kalsi, DCP (North), said: “Around 700 students from DU gathered outside Arts Faculty Gate and started protesting for open book exams. There was no permission for the said protest. Students blocked the road and obstructed traffic despite repeated requests to not cause obstruction and remain peaceful. Some students were detained while others were removed… All students were later released. A case has been registered against 5 students under IPC section 188 for obstructing police in their duty.”
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