After a period of stabilised schedules, delays in the conduct of examinations are back in vogue in Kerala’s universities, affecting the future of many students. Our readers respond:Fix schedule
The delay in the conduct of university examinations and the publication of results has been a matter of worry for many students and parents. A general complaint in this regard is that the authorities concerned are too callous. But the authorities hesitantly admit that it is not easy for them to get things done in the given system. There are some occasions when examination schedules get derailed on account of strikes and hartals. All such delays affect the future of our children. Some students aspiring for higher studies lose one or more years due to non-issuing of certificates by the university. The condition of students who take bank loans for education are all the more pathetic. All exam-related activities should be done in a time-bound manner. The State should ensure that extraneous reasons do not hamper the smooth conduct of examinations. A schedule should be fixed for each stage so that the goals are clearly set.
S. Paul Dhason
Reputation at stake
The reputation of the University of Kerala should not be at stake. It is deplorable that examinations are not taking place as per schedule. Results also do not come out promptly. No university can compensate for the losses suffered by the students/candidates in terms of loss of opportunity. The authorities concerned should take strict action against officials who are not serious about their work. The personnel should be imparted professional training in handling massive examinations.
The university has to face unexpected interruptions in its functioning. There should be concerted action to avoid delays.
All issues cannot be handled at the university level. Political parties should show the grace to desist from organising hartals. They should not meddle with the functioning of universities either.
Politicians should also not cause loss of working days by organising strikes. Also, the State government should ensure that the exam calendar is adhered to by the university. The personnel should be given professional training.
Being an academician, I keep track of the number of working days lost due to various reasons.
Academic activity on the campus is an ignored element now. This reflects on the system as well. The introduction of a new system is often mired in confusion. There are no proper deliberations and experts are not consulted. No amount of mud-slinging or fault- finding can alter the situation. We have to take corrective action.
Prof. R. Narayana Iyer
ThiruvananthapuramNo political interference
There should not be political interference in the matters of university administration. Politicians should meddle elsewhere.
Education Ministers should not even announce examination results. Admissions, examinations and publication of results should be planned in advance so that our students do not lose opportunities.
The examination system, on close analysis, seems to be in a mess. This is most evident in engineering examinations. There are many examinations and supplementary examination throughout the course. None of these take place in time. The students suffer mental agony. When the results of certain papers are not out in time, all students register for supplementary examinations. This can be avoided if results are out in time.
The burden on the university, in processing so many applications, can also be eased if results are out promptly. Those students who await final year results are almost always in distress.
They would need their final mark sheets for taking up jobs.
The government should wake up to this situation and find an end to the woes of students. A body should be constituted to monitor the smooth conduct of examinations.
ThiruvananthapuramShould be challenged
Delay is routine now. Since there is no protest, the authorities feel secure and safe even if examinations are not conducted in time. It is surprising that such delays which cause untold hardships go unchallenged. Very often students form our universities lose opportunities for higher education and employment. The government has the responsibility to safeguard the interests of the student community.
K.P. Karunakaran Nair
A callous approach and ignorance on part of the authorities are reasons that cause delay.
By this they ruin the future of hundreds of students. Late fines are charged from students for delays. Such provisions should be introduced for university employees also.
This will make them accountable. The factors of the system should be revisited and rechecked on a regular basis to introduce timely changes.
The reasons for delay in conducting examinations are many. It is true that the responsibility of conducting examinations rests with the universities.
There should be promptness in the system. All those concerned should work in unison to reach the goal. The students should be paid compensation if examinations are not held in time.
ThiruvananthapuramLoss of opportunity
It is the responsibility of the universities to conduct examinations on time. Otherwise there will be a cascading effect which will result in loss of opportunities for students.
If the genuine complaints of the students are addressed at the right time it will not reach the level of a grievance and days lost on this count can be reduced.
What is needed is dedicated mechanism at the State level to asses the system in place. It should suggest corrective measures and progressive action.
Political parties may take a conscious decision and arrive at a consensus that the students will not disturbed and pulled out from the classes.
The university should, without fail, adhere to the academic calendar.
Prof. N.R.U.K. Kartha Thiruvananthapuram Infuse professionalism The violent and disruptive political culture of the State makes a mockery of any attempt to adhere to an academic calendar. This is compounded by the politicised and bureaucratised constitution of the university. The university administration is inimical to adopting a professional approach in managing higher education. The focus seems to be on micromanaging the affiliated colleges rather than overseeing a broad policy for ensuring the quality of the system. There is no wonder in it that none of our universities could get a very high raking from the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC). There is a need to foster the growth of autonomous institutions which will function as centres of excellence without the universities. The universities should streamline broad policy parameters and leave the conduct of examinations to such autonomous institutions. Unfortunately, the draft higher education policy is not in favour of autonomy citing possible loss of social control as the reason. This fear is misplaced. No one has any dispute over the ‘social objectives.’ The point is that autonomy is not privatisation. The IITs are publicly funded and enjoy a fair amount of autonomy. Therefore, the issue of prompt conduct of examinations cannot be addressed in isolation. It needs to be part of comprehensive education reforms. The politicians on their part should desist from organising hartals at least from now.
The conduct of examinations in particular and managing the affairs of a university in general is big task. It is now a complex task as the number of students and disciplines (courses) have gone up. Universities should ensure that there is ample wherewithal before starting a course. The use of technology in a better way can also solve the problems to a good level. This will also help in reducing the time taken for the publication of results. Political parties should not cause delays by organising hartals. Our students should not be made to wait when their friends in other states move to the next phase.