Everyone loves a day off, but sometimes the phrase, too much of a good thing, takes its toll

Who doesn’t want a holiday?

Often, students get unexpected holidays when the government declares schools and colleges closed for the day after the death of a dignitary, or unrest, or other reasons. At other times, school and college managements bow down to bandh calls by powerful organisations. While on regular days this seems like a welcome relief, one such recent declaration of holiday led to the postponement of exams in at least two major universities in Karnataka.

While the jury is still out on whether it is an absolute necessity to declare such a sudden holiday, many students that The Hindu EducationPlus spoke to said exams shouldn’t be postponed at any cost, as it would upset students’ mindsets. So, is it time to do away with this practice? Students voice their opinions:

Varun Kumar, second year B. Tech, Kammavari Sangham Institute of Technology, Bangalore:

It is unfortunate to lose great persons. I feel that declaring holidays due to their demise is actually fine, but I strongly feel exams shouldn’t be postponed. We plan and study with a certain mindset during exam time, and when these exams get postponed, it spoils the momentum with which we plan for the rest of the exams.

We need to study all over again when the exam is postponed. Also, this time, it is sad that the exams, which were supposed to get over on December 28 for me, finally ended on January 1. Whatever plans we had for celebrating New Year went down the drain. We had to spend it with books preparing for an exam which was supposed to be over long back.

Shishir Manjunath, second year MBBS, JJM Medical College, Davangere: Firstly, I feel bandhs don’t really serve any purpose. It only leaves us students affected. To compensate for the loss of classes we are called in for special classes, many of them being on the weekends. Secondly, as for a holiday being declared due to the death of a dignitary, in most cases, the people belonging to younger generations do not know anything about the person and end up spending that holiday by going out and watching a movie.

Instead, I think if a minute’s silence is observed and a few words spoken about the deceased, it would help us understand more about the person and his contributions.

Postponement of exams should always be a last resort. It simply causes too many difficulties. On December 24, I was supposed to have an exam, which got postponed. This affects our psyche and often upsets our plans for the following exams. I think it’s high time we do away with this as it is evident that students are greatly affected by this.

Anirudh Rao, second year B. Tech, BNM Institute of Technology, Bangalore: It’s not much of an issue to me if a holiday is declared on a non-exam day. I know, we miss classes, but it can be made up. I’m not completely against the declaration of a holiday. I’m against the fact that even the exams are called off. I feel that even under such circumstances, exams should be held as per the time table. I had my maths external on December 11, which was postponed to January 1 because a holiday was declared.

Some of us have plans after exams but due to the postponement we have to change everything. Many of my friends in my college, who are from outside Bangalore, had to cancel their train tickets and now find it hard to book fresh tickets due to unavailability. Our exams were to get over by December 30. We had planned to celebrate New Year but unfortunately we had to cancel all those plans.

SriVardhan Karnic, first year BBM, Dayanand Sagar Institute, Bangalore:

I’m strongly against the declaration of such holidays. I can completely understand the sentiment with which the holidays are declared when dignitaries die, but it disrupts a massive amount of other day-to-day activities of the people.

There is great anger and unrest when examinations are postponed to later dates as it affects a number of students in their preparation and upsets the mindset of students. The recent postponement of the VTU engineering exams has affected a lot of people, including me. A special day like New Year’s eve turned sour when I heard from my friends that we can’t celebrate as their exam got postponed. All out-of-station plans got disrupted and a majority of the students were left frustrated and angry.

Deepa C.D., third semester B.Com, S K Arts and Commerce College, Haveri: Holidays are declared when dignitaries, who have made special contributions to the society, pass away, to pay respect to them. I don’t have a problem with that. In fact, I feel we should take time out and learn more about them and their good deeds. However, we also have to keep in mind that exam time is perhaps the most important part of a semester for students. Be it a bandh, or the death of a dignitary, essential services should not be hampered, and in the same way, exams should also be put under that category. If it is regular college, I have no problem with a holiday being declared to pay respects to the deceased dignitary. Classes are missed, but can be made up easily. With bandhs, it’s a different case. Although most students do not take part in the bandh, I feel giving a holiday is an obligation as bandhs may turn violent and might put students at risk.

Bharath Kashyap, second year B.Com, Sri Bhagwan Mahaveer Jain College, Bangalore: When a holiday is declared due to the demise of an important person, though it calls for mourning his/her death, what happens in reality is most people just use that holiday for recreational purposes. When such is the case, the purpose behind declaring the holiday is lost. Keeping this in mind, postponing important exams is not justified at all. I work for a band, and we were supposed to finish recording an album before January 1. But my producer’s exam got postponed and we were forced to delay the recording. I believe the government should inform the public about the person and his/her contributions rather than simply declaring holidays.