Final-year exams: Mumbai colleges opt for customised software for students with limited or no access to smart devices, internet connectivityUpdated: Sep 19, 2020, 00:38 IST
With final-year exams slated to begin on October 1, city colleges are going the extra mile to ensure that students with limited or no access to smart devices and internet connectivity are also able to take the tests.
As directed by the University of Mumbai (MU), most colleges have completed a survey of students to find out if they have the means to take exams online. Principals said that while a majority of students had access to devices and/ or internet connection, some reported they had neither.
As a solution, many city colleges are opting for customised software that is compatible on all devices, browsers and connectivity.
Kishore Peshori, principal of Mithibai Motiram Kundnani College of Commerce and Economics (MMK college), Bandra, said, “While most of our students said they have a smart device, a few who have gone to remote places [at their hometowns], have said they do not have proper internet connectivity. So we have zeroed in on an exam software that does not require a high-speed internet connection and can run on 2G.”
Nirmala Memorial Foundation College of Commerce and Science, Kandivli, too, has opted for a customised software that can run on low bandwidth.
“After the survey, we have called students who expressed inaccessibility to make them comfortable with online exams and check if they can borrow a device from parents or neighbour,” said principal Swiddle D’Cunha. For students, who may not be able to manage taking an online exam at all, the college will make arrangements for a physical exam.
The software will also help proctor the exams and enable students to take the exams offline.
“Meanwhile, we have formed a taskforce with IT (Information Technology) personnel and teachers. Students can call the taskforce and get their doubts clarified on subjects as well as technology,” added D’Cunha.
MMK College, too, has a similar helpline. “We are also planning to ask some parents to donate their old devices so they can be distributed among students who need them,” said Peshori.
“We will soon send out a list of dos and don’ts to our students so that they are careful while taking the exam. For example, if they do not turn their notifications off, the software may log them out, even if it is a genuine notification about connectivity,” said Madhav Rajwade, principal, Sathaye College in Vile Parle.
At Ruparel College in Matunga, only one student does not have access to internet connectivity.
“We are trying to arrange for an internet connection for the student,” said principal Tushar Desai. Those students, who have opted for answering questions in Marathi, will be also able to do so online, he said.
Dhobi Talao’s St Xaviers’ College, too, is trying to provide connectivity to few students, who do not have accessibility, at a nearest institution.
“We are trying to reach their nearest institution – either college or school – which can help us. If not, we will find other solutions,” said principal Rajendra Shinde.