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Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Experts raise objections to online MCQ exams; students demand official notification from SPPU

Many education experts and activists are demanding that the decision be reconsidered as conducting online MCQ examinations raises a question on the credibility of the test.

Written by Alifiya Khan | Pune |
Updated: February 11, 2021 8:06:21 pm
IIM, IIM news, IIM admission, CAT, IIM Kashipur, education news, online examsAdmissions to all PG Diploma courses are done through C-DAC's computerized Common Admission Test (C-CAT), which were conducted in January this year.

Barely two days after a special Board of Examinations (BoE) meeting approved online MCQ format exams for first to final year students at the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU), the decision is now being questioned and subjected to review.

Many education experts and activists are demanding that the decision be reconsidered as conducting online MCQ examinations raises a question on the credibility of the test.

In a strongly-worded opposition to the decision of online MCQ exams, Dhananjay Kulkarni, former Senate member wrote to Dr. Nitin Karmalkar, vice-chancellor, SPPU said, “The decision to conduct online exams from February 15th, allowing students to write exams from home, is unfortunate because it raises a question on the credibility of exams and the results. The COVID-19 situation has come under control, the vaccine for the same is also available now. Hence using the excuse of the COVID-19 situation and shirking off responsibility to conduct online exams is not acceptable.”

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However, even as the pressure is building from academics on SPPU to reconsider its stance on online exams, the student community is also arguing its case, albeit on social media. For the last one week now, a sustained Twitter campaign is being run by students demanding online, MCQ only exams.

“If on one hand, they say that the credibility and quality of examinations are being affected by online mode of exams, then what do they have to say about the online teaching that took place? What about its quality? How many students had access to lectures, how effective was the delivery, how prepared are students based on this kind of online education? Ten months of the academic year was wasted, barely anything was learned online. How are students expected to writing traditional, descriptive pen-paper examinations with such preparations,” said Kamlakar Shethe, a student representative.

Vaibhav Edke, another student representative said, “During the lockdown situation, students have had to face so many issues. SPPU has a large number of students from rural areas where right from network connectivity to syllabus books, everything is scarce. Hence we welcome the SPPU decision for online exams and our only demand is that an official notification be released by the university so that students’ fears are allayed,” he said.

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