GU registrar HK Nath told TOI on Wednesday that the revised decision was reached after a crucial meeting on Tuesday. However, no changes were made to the exam schedule for the undergraduate (UG) courses. UG final semester exams are scheduled to commence from September 22.
The examination schedule for the final semester master degree students is however awaited.
The university, on September 5, had said exams will be held offline since they do not have adequate infrastructure to hold online tests.
Nath added that although the primary reason behind the changes made in the examination mode is the current pandemic situation, the conversion of some GU-affiliated colleges into Covid care centres has also compelled the authorities to review its initial decision. “We plan to give freedom to the students to choose between online and offline modes, whichever they feel convenient for appearing in the examination,” he said.
Lack of proper internet connectivity, especially for students from the rural areas of the state, has been a major hindrance to conducting online tests. Nath said justice will be done with every student.
The new notification issued by GU late on Tuesday read, “The Undergraduate (UG) Examinations will be held both in the online and offline mode. Detailed new SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) for this new model will be published by the Controller of Examinations, GU soon. This is as per review made today i.e. on 08.09.2020, in view of the current pandemic situation in the state of Assam.” The university also informed that the postgraduate final examinations of GU, which was scheduled to commence in September, will also be held online.
A delegation of the All Assam Students’ Union (Aasu), headed by president Dipanka Nath, had met GU vice-chancellor PJ Handique on Tuesday. “Examinations should be held both online and offline, allowing students to be acquainted with open book exams. The burden of the syllabus should also be reduced,” Dipanka said.
The Assam College Teachers’ Association (Acta), too, welcomed the change in the exam plans made by GU keeping the Covid situation in mind. Acta general secretary Himangshu Maral said, “About 5% of GU-affiliated colleges have been converted to Covid care centres. Though this percentage seems small, the decision to conduct offline exams could have created problems for hundreds of students from these colleges.”
Despite repeated appeals to shift these Covid facilities from educational institutions, he said nothing has changed. “There are many quarantine centres, Covid care centres and testing centres in many of its affiliated colleges. In this regard, we would like to reiterate our request to withdraw these centres,” a letter from the GU to the director of higher education, Assam, Gitimoni Phukan read.