First year degree college students are less than a week away from appearing for their first semester examinations and by the looks of it, many students may end up sharing the same desk with their classmates during exams.
Colleges are not even sure if they’ll manage to print all the question paper within the stipulated time frame for their first year students. These are just some of the repercussions of the new university of Mumbai rule, demanding a common examination schedule and question paper for first year students starting this November.
“Final year students are divided in various colleges according to exam centres and we don’t have more than 450-500 students to cater to at a time. However, we have close to 2,000 first year students who will be taking their examination at the same time and we are not sure if the available infrastructure will be enough to accommodate all,” said the principal of a Thane-based college. While the university has ordered colleges to conduct first semester examinations like the third year university examinations, colleges are worried about not being equipped in terms of infrastructure as well as logistics for the same.
According to university rules for final year examinations, colleges are sent a question paper code (one out of the three sets of questions papers that are prepared) less than 20 minutes before the exam has to begin. Colleges are then expected to take print outs for all the students appearing for their examination at that particular center. Since the first year students will be taking their examinations from their respective colleges, the institutes are worried about accommodating all students and managing to get enough print outs in time for the examination.
“Our college runs in shifts and since the first year degree examinations are slotted from 3pm onwards, we have had to suspend regular lectures for the afternoon batches due to lack of space. We have eight first year courses (aided and unaided) with over 3,000 students who will be taking their exams at the same time. How does the university expect us to handle such a large number?” asked the principal of a Kandivli-based college.
A group of city colleges are now also planning to write to the university, seeking replies to these queries. “Colleges with a larger strength can request the controller of examinations to help them with more than one log in id, so that they can download the question paper form more than one work station. We will do our best to solve all the queries because common examinations are being held keeping in mind the best interests of students,” said M A Khan, registrar, MU. He added that whatever problems colleges are facing, they should discuss the same with the university in order to come up with better solutions.
While logistics is just one part of the problem, some colleges have also been struggling to cover the portion for their newly introduced batches. HT had previously written about 20 MU affiliated colleges receiving the permission from state government to start new courses or batches for this academic year and in some cases, classes began in the first week of October for the same. “We had one month to cover the entire portion, but students were keen so our professors have worked round the clock to finish this task and prepare them for the examinations that begins on November 7,” said Anju Kapoor, principal of UPG College, Vile Parle. The college has been conducting lectures from 9am to 6pm for the new batches in order to complete the first semester syllabus for their BA (Film & Television Production) batch.