Semester examinations, practicals and internal assessments stand cancelled; companies cancel recruitment drives
The indefinite closure of engineering, arts and science, and Government Arts colleges following the anti-Sri Lanka protests by students has put parents and teachers in a quandary. With no sign of any notification from the Government to commence classes, they believe that it will be difficult for the semester to end on time.
While officially, the colleges are closed from March 16, unofficially many colleges had stopped functioning as early as March 14 because students had taken to the roads. There was much hope that they will be asked to reopen on March 25, but it is still status quo. The next possible date that is doing the rounds is April 2. But there is no notification on this yet.
That the academic schedule has been disrupted in all cases is a given. But there are other activities that are typical of this time of the year that have been affected to a great extent.
This is the season for technical fests, cultural fests, inter-collegiate competitions, annual days, graduation days, industry-institution interactions, and last but not the least, placement drives. All these have been cancelled, postponed or being held with minimum strength of day scholars whom the colleges have been able to mobilise over phone.
Autonomous colleges are confident that they can tide over this because they have the liberty to convert this into study holidays, juggle their working hours, and also reduce their summer / annual holidays.
The affiliated colleges of Bharathiar University and Anna University in Coimbatore, however, cannot enjoy this liberty.
In the case of engineering colleges, the semester examination is scheduled to be held on May 3 and the practicals on April 26. Prior to the practical examination, colleges usually close for study holidays for seven or 10 days. It is expected that this period will be done away with and will be used to complete portions.
In the case of Government Arts College, the internal assessment that was scheduled to be held from March 18 to 23 has been cancelled, the practical examination that was to be held from March 23 to April 5 has also been cancelled. That the final examination will be held on April 15 does not seem to be a possibility.
Practical examinations of arts and science colleges also stand cancelled. In the case of research in universities and colleges, professors say that the research scholars cannot be officially permitted into laboratories. There are ongoing experiments – some for many months – that cannot be stopped in between because the scholars have to start from scratch if discontinued. Where animals are used for experiments, the scholars will have to ensure that they are fed, in the case of fish, water has to be changed, etc.
Companies have cancelled recruitment drives and college managements say that they might not wait and recruit from other States.
Universities and some colleges have sent status reports about the situation to the Government. Based on the reports, they do not have any clue about how the Government will assess the situation and decide on the reopening. Managements are hopeful of beginning classes at least next week.
All the colleges are gearing up to conduct extra classes on week days and also work on Saturdays.