Jamia students protest, say proctored online exams guidelines anti-students, present 5 points
Some Jamia Millia Islamia students protested at V-C office on Friday over university’s new guidelines for exams terming the proctored exams for 3rd semester students as anti-students.
Some said having high speed internet in places not possible and there are many students who don’t have laptop. The protest started after Jamia guidelines for exams came in which it was announced that undergraduate and post-graduate students of Jamia sitting for the “proctored online examinations” starting December 21 will have to ensure “uninterrupted power and good internet connectivity”.
“Students will require to appear in the examination using the latest version of Firefox browser, a Windows laptop/PC with a stable internet connection and web camera. Students would also need a smart phone to click images of their handwritten answers and for uploading the same. These are mandatory…,” COE Nazim Hussain Jafri said in the guidelines.
Submitting a joint application to the Dean Faculty of Social Sciences, Jamia, they wrote: “The pattern of end semester exams being held in “Proctored Online mode” have raised some concerns in all the classes. After much discussion, we have come up with a contingency plan that will suit everyone and the plan has been discussed with all the students of the department and their responses have been attached in the mail. Here we present the consensus that we have reached.
- All exams should be open-book (OBE) considering the conditions that a lot of students are facing as you can see in the data that the Department’s students have received via survey.
- Almost 100% students are not in the favour of the Online Proctored mode of
- There are many students who have not been able to attend classes regularly
because of lack of infrastructure i.e. PC/Laptop, regular power cuts and bad internet connectivity.
- 40% of Indians live in 1BHK and it is not fair to expect these students to sit at
home, with the camera switched on, without disturbance for a stretch of 3 hours
and give their exams.
- The students from Kashmir and Afghanistan face an unfairly disadvantaged position, owing to the govt. regulations limiting to an unreliable 2G network
The online proctored exam will require unhindered access to high-speed internet and electricity for continuous 3 hours, which is almost impossible for many students.
“Out of the 110 responses that we received in our survey reading the feasibility to give exams in a proctored way – 97% of students find it difficult to give exams in a proctored way. Also, they have supported their claim with graphics about internet facilities and others. During the presentations, vivas and class discussions the teachers have themselves witnessed the connectivity issues of many students, even teachers have faced several internet connectivity issues even with a normal Google meet platform. Any evaluation of such a pattern will be unfair and infeasible for all of us.
“We reiterate that this mode of evaluation is highly discriminatory and Anti-student. Decisions like these will create a class divide. Public Universities like Jamia Millia Islamia should provide an equal opportunity and platform to the students coming from different economic backgrounds rather than increasing the gap between the rich and the poor.
“University of Delhi also being a Central University is conducting semester exams through OBE,” they wrote.
“Therefore we, the students of CMS, JMI request the department to convey to the administration that they kindly reconsider their decision to have an Online Proctored exam and try to find an alternative, preferably an OPEN BOOK EXAM (OBE) or any other fair means to evaluate keeping in mind the ground realities of the students of Jamia.”
The university guidelines said: “Students are advised to make sure they make their own arrangements for uninterrupted power and good internet connectivity for the complete duration of the test. Students would themselves be responsible for any lapses on this front so they are advised to make sure adequate back up is in place.
“Students are required to adhere to the maximum time allotted to the examination and in addition to it, 15 minutes of extra time is allotted to students to upload their hand-written answers in an A4 size paper in the PDF format… Extra caution should be exercised by students that all pages of the response are clicked, converted in PDF format and successfully uploaded… No request… with regard to any discrepancy in uploading the response shall be entertained at any point,” the guidelines state.
“Students are further required to give permission to use their web camera throughout…the examinations… to carry out remote invigilation. Any obstruction of the camera or microphone… will deem to be a fit ground for cancellation of the examination for the student,” the guidelines state.
“Students are also not supposed to move to any other window/tab/application on his/her device or other applications during the… examination. Such movement away from the test window is captured by the application and the examination will stop on its own/may be cancelled if the same is detected,” it read.
On how students could be responsible for electricity and internet, and how 15 minutes are enough to upload answers, Jafri told IE: “There is a helpline number. If students give suggestions, we will incorporate and modify. If I did not add these points, every second student would say they are not being able to give exam because of power cut.”
Efforts were made to contact top university official, but they couldn’t be reached. Once we get university version it will be uploaded here.