Students who failed in subjects in the first or second year of their BCom, BA and BSc courses before 2011-12 are struggling to get a graduation degree even after clearing their final-year exams. This is because the new examination system requires them to enrol again in the class that they failed.
Earlier, students who failed could clear those papers in a re-examination. Now, a change in the paper format has made it necessary for students to enrol in the lower classes again. While a 100-mark paper was only on theory, a subject is now divided into a theory section that carries 75 marks and an internal assessment (practical) section that carries 25 marks and can be earned only if students enrol themselves in the failed class.
“The problem is that a handful of students have not cleared certain papers before 2011-12 and are now stuck. We don’t see the point of asking them to sit for the entire academic year again to clear one or two subjects,” said Madhu Nair, principal of Nirmala Memorial Foundation and former dean of commerce, University of Mumbai.
He added that almost all colleges have been approached by a handful of students who are still struggling to clear their course.
The change in syllabus too has created problems for these students. “This problem crops up every year and students are stuck. It’s up to the university now to clear the air,” said Indu Shahani, principal of HR College.
What’s worse is the delay in providing mark sheets to students, either stuck because of re-evaluation or a series of ATKT examinations. “There are students from 2011 as well as 2015 who haven’t received their mark sheets. The university should give these students another chance to clear their papers according to the old pattern,” said Marie Fernandes, principal of St Andrew’s College in Bandra.
Following a series of complaints made by principals about this particular problem, the university has now also decided to give these students with ATKT in first and second year examinations one more chance to clear the paper.
“Many of these students have already exhausted the three chances that they get to clear a paper. The university has now decided to give them another year to clear their exams and the papers will be set according to the old pattern itself,” said MA Khan, MU registrar.
Until 2010-11, the exam pattern followed expected students to appear for a 100-mark theory paper and score above 35 in each subject to pass the exam. However, 2011-12 onwards, the examination pattern was split into theory as well as internal assessment (practicals). The syllabus too has been upgraded in the past five years.
At present, a student has to appear for a 75-mark theory paper and submit assignments for the remaining 25 marks. So a student yet to clear exams before 2011 will either have to register again as a student and clear the paper or wait for the university to set papers according to the 100-mark pattern.