Delay in conducting final-year exams affects their prospects

Hundreds of students of the University of Kerala who completed their final year BA and B.Com. courses (annual scheme) stand to lose a year of studies as the varsity is yet to conduct the final-year examinations for these courses.

These are students who had registered as private candidates and studied at the varsity’s Institute of Distance Education (IDE).

“These students will not be able to apply for postgraduate or MBA courses as the university has kept as May 3 the last date for submitting applications for the entrance examinations for such courses,” a university official associated with the examination process told The Hindu in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday.

Directions

“What is ironical is that the Controller of Examinations has now issued directions to the examination wing to prepare and despatch the hall tickets for the first year examinations of the BA and B.Com. courses for 2012 admissions,” the official added.

In addition to not being able to apply for higher studies, these ‘private’ students also find themselves unable to write the supplementary papers of the first or second year examinations.

Sources in the university explained that the instructions to write the first- and second-year supplementary papers are sent along with the hall tickets of the third year. Now, the university will have to conduct another set of examinations for these candidates so that they get another shot at writing their first and second year papers; this means additional expense for the varsity and needless effort on the part of already-harried officials associated with a range of examination-related work from setting the question papers to tabulating the results.

“Idiotic is the only word to describe this situation. There are very good students, particularly in the Commerce stream, who wish to enrol for MBA courses. They would not be able to do so now. Even if the varsity were to announce an examination next week, it would take months for the process to be over and for the results to the declared. In short, hundreds of private students stand to lose a year for no fault of theirs. All this is undoubtedly being done to help the varsity’s Learner Support Centres where students are now poised to write the first year examinations. Thus, the hurry to conduct the first year examinations,” syndicate member K.L. Vivekandandan told The Hindu.

More centres

Mr. Vivekanandan said the Syndicate planned to sanction 85 more such centres. “These centres are being granted in gross violation of the varsity statutes which say that only the Senate has the power to set up varsity centres. And the Senate had said no to the scheme and no budgetary provision was made for such centres,” he added.

The decision of the Syndicate on Saturday to initiate action against teachers who committed errors while evaluating answer sheets has come in for sharp criticism from the Left-leaning All Kerala Private College Teachers’ Association (AKPCTA).

Action

For first time offenders, there will be a fine of Rs.2,500. The second time, in addition to the fine, the teacher concerned would be kept away from examination work. The third time, apart from the fine and the debarment from examination work, the varsity would also recommend the appropriate authority, that the teacher’s next promotion be put on hold.

An AKPCTA press note issued here said this decision would only serve to have a chilling effect on teachers and keep them away from examination duty.

While teachers should undoubtedly be vigilant during evaluation, small mistakes should not be blown out of proportion. The varsity should also end the practice of asking teachers in aided colleges to evaluate the answer scripts of students in self-financing colleges and in the private stream, the press note added.