Delhi

Open book exam: DUTA writes to principals

The DU Teachers Association (DUTA) on Sunday wrote to principals of all colleges of the university, calling upon them to “intervene” in the conduct of open book examinations (OBE) in the interest of students and their institutions.

Following reports that colleges will be conducting mock OBEs, the union argued that such an exercise would not address any of the problems outlined by students and teachers, as it would not simulate the real conditions and circumstances students will face during the examinations. Apart from this, it argued that it would put “additional stress” without any benefit. For one, the mock exam would engage the college portal which would be different from the issues that may be faced via the university portal. Additionally, students who are already in difficult situations, would endure the stress and cost of appearing for an exam more than once.

The union also reiterated its objections to the action taken by DU and appealed to principals to “play a positive role”. It highlighted that the decision to grant degrees on the basis of the students’ past records has been accepted at various institutions in India and abroad and was “perhaps the best possible decision, given the conditions.”

It highlighted various issues with the OBE, including the lack of consultation in arriving at the decision. It pointed to the results of a survey conducted by the union where nearly 90% of those who participated, voted against the exams. It argued that the exams would be discriminatory, there has been negligible institutional help, it would be open to malpractices and finally “incomprehensible” given that the university is willing to consider past performances for students of other semesters. It also pointed to the difficulties faced by students with special needs in its appeal to principals to recognise the pitfalls of the OBE.

“As a head of an institution, involved mainly in teaching-learning of UG students, we appeal to you to support the students and teachers in their demand for a more rational, academic and credible grading system for terminal semester students. The task of academic leadership lies in assessing and responding to real conditions and not in pretending ‘all is well’ when it is not,” DUTA said appealing for their support and to “not succumb to the pressure to participate in the OBE because the real intent seems to be only to declare it a success”.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 1:33:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/open-book-exam-duta-writes-to-principals/article31829004.ece

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