There will be no change in exam schedule; teachers may have to rush through the syllabus

After a break of almost 18 days, colleges in the State will reopen on Wednesday. The focus is now on teachers, who have to rush through the syllabus before exams for all the streams commence later in the month.

In a circular to all engineering colleges, Anna University officials have clarified that there will be no change in the examination schedule. This evoked worried response from teachers and students.

“As soon as the announcement came, we held meetings with teachers to rework the timetable. We have to prioritise certain portions now, and leave out the easy ones for the students to study on their own,” said principal of a private college.

Officials in most colleges said they will have to hold classes on Sundays and at least an hour of extra class on other days.

“Even then, one of the two Sundays before the exams is a compulsory holiday (Tamil New Year) and, hence, unavailable. Postponing exams by a week would have given us some relief,” said principal of a private college here.

“The biggest concern is that students might have to do without the 15-day preparation leave. In most colleges, this is the time poor performers are asked to come to college every day and are given training,” said R. Manjunath, another professor.

“Allocation of laboratory resources among students is a problem too. Now, we are going to conduct only laboratory classes on Sundays for students,” he added.

Practical examinations in most private engineering colleges were to begin on April 22 and theory by May 8. In most colleges, officials say if things had gone as per schedule, they would have finished the model exams by now and the syllabus by first week of April.

“There are five units in every subject. Now, not even three are complete. If we rush through the syllabus, we can finish it only by April 20. Students will have to come to labs immediately after classes. Without preparation leave, they might really not perform well,” Prof. Majunath said.

The directorate of Collegiate Education on Monday also instructed all arts colleges to reopen on Wednesday.

While the autonomous colleges can go ahead with their exams, government colleges need to await instructions from the University of Madras to know the exam schedule.

Here too, most professors feel the students won’t be able to avail the week-long preparation leave.

“We need to figure out ways to schedule the second internal tests the students missed out due to the break and also the exams which were to begin this week,” said R. Nayagan, professor of an arts college.

“Many private colleges have been functioning since last week, flouting official orders. A few of them have already gone ahead with their exams. They have forced their teachers to attend college every day during the protests, and now they will have to teach overtime too,” said R. Sukumaran, professor in a private college.