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Mumbai university results mess: Delayed new semester give colleges headache

mumbai Updated: Oct 10, 2017 10:35 IST
Shreya Bhandary
Shreya Bhandary
Hindustan Times

The university, which adopted on-screen marking (OSM) for digital evaluation of answer sheets to avoid human error, is still struggling to complete the assessments(HT FILE)

The chaos surrounding the exam schedule released by the University of Mumbai (MU) has not only delayed the first semester tests, but has also drastically reduced the time available for the next semester. This has forced almost all the city colleges to rework their timetable for the rest of the academic year.

The university, which adopted on-screen marking (OSM) for digital evaluation of answer sheets to avoid human error, is still struggling to complete the assessments. Though the varsity officials said they have announced results of major courses, after missing several deadlines, thousands of students are awaiting their individual results.

With the MU delaying the results of the last semester examination, the timetable for the ongoing semester, which usually ends before Diwali, is expected to run from the second week of November until mid-January. The next semester, which starts after the Diwali vacations, will be delayed by nearly two months.

Colleges affiliated to MU are currently busy reworking their academic calendar in order to accommodate maximum lectures while conducting exams.

“Our college runs classes in shifts in order to accommodate junior college as well as degree college courses in three different streams, aided as well as unaided departments. We can’t conduct regular lectures during exams so on most days, classes from the morning or afternoon shift will have to be cancelled,” said Ashok Wadia, principal of Jai Hind College, Churchgate.

In a series of meetings held at the college, the teachers are trying to work out a plan that ensures lectures of a particular department are not cancelled indefinitely until exams are over. “This is an unwanted task. We have no choice but to work around the examination schedule,” said Wadia.

Most colleges run their degree college classes in the morning shift and push the junior college classes (class XI and XII) to the afternoon shift. According to the examination schedule put up by the university, on some days colleges will end up conducting exams in two shifts, leaving them with no classrooms for regular lectures.

“November to January not conducting regular lectures means the exams will eat into almost half of the academic time of the second semester. Our teachers are planning extra lectures during holidays and on Sundays to avoid loss of academic time,” said Rajpal Hande, principal of Mithibai College, Vile Parle.

Since many teachers were busy assessing exam papers until recently from the previous semester, colleges are avoiding conducting extra lectures during Diwali vacations in order to give teachers a break. “Christmas vacations will have to be compromised, as well as Sundays,” said another principal, on condition of anonymity.

November and December is also the period when many colleges conduct their annual festivals. However, with examinations as well as lack of time for regular lectures, many institutes have postponed their cultural festivals by a couple of months.

“It’ll be unfair to cancel these activities, because children work really hard for the festivals as well. We have requested them to conduct the festivals in January instead of November and December this year. We have no choice but to conduct extra lectures to make up for lost time,” said Sobhana Vasudevan, principal of R A Podar College, Matunga.

While colleges are currently conducting Allowed To Keep Term (ATKT) exams, examination for the fresh candidates will begin from November 6.

First Published: Oct 10, 2017 10:35 IST