The inordinate delays have forced students to put career plans on hold, and affects students who want to pursue higher studies the most.

Delays in arrear exams and publishing results hold back Kerala University studentsFacebook/Ente Trivandrum
news Education Thursday, February 28, 2019 - 11:27

“Kerala University is not allowing me to move forward in life,” says Sagar*, a student. Sagar is not alone, as this is a sentiment shared by many current students and former students who have “somehow managed to escape” the system, as some of them put it.

22-year-old Sagar is a part of the last batch of engineering students who were part of the Kerala University. In 2015, all engineering courses in the state were shifted under the Kerala Technological University (KTU).

Sagar’s Electronics and Communications Engineering (ECE) course had completed in May 2018, but he is yet to clear a few papers. “I’m not sad about failing those papers. But, I’m really angry about how long Kerala University is making us wait to write those papers again,” he says.

One of the main complaints that the students of the university have raised is the delay in the publishing of results and in conducting supplementary examinations.

John*, another B.Tech student from a college in Thiruvananthapuram had a backlog from his fourth semester. “Technically, I’m supposed to get chances to write that paper again during semesters 5, 6, 7 and 8 — which means I’m supposed to get four chances to write that paper again before the course gets over. It’s been one year since my course was completed, and I only got one chance to write that paper during the period of the course, and one after the course got over,” he says.

Sagar has a similar story. “Normally, arrear examinations should be conducted when the student appears for the exams of the next semester. But for that, our results have to come on time. The results of the first semester will only be published when the next batch is about to write their first semester exams, which is when we write our third-semester exams,” says Sagar.

When the university finally announces the dates for the exams, Sagar says that all the arrears are held together, make it difficult for them to prepare for the papers.

“All you have to do is check the date of the examination on the question paper to know when it was initially supposed to be held. I wrote an exam this February. The date on the question paper said it was supposed to be held in December 2018,” says Sagar. Because of this delay, he has to push his career plans.

John says that those who plan to pursue higher studies are affected the most because of the delays. “Many students who have completed their final semester examinations as well as given the CAT have not been able to join the MBA course because the final semester results didn’t come on time. Forget the people who have backlogs. Even the ones who pass their exams on time sometimes are helpless because of the delay in publishing the results,” John says.

Ajay, the Vice-Chairman of the Kerala University Students Union, says that one of the reasons for the delay in publishing results is that there are few teachers to evaluate the papers. “Earlier, one teacher had to evaluate only 15 papers each day. So if there are plenty of papers and only a few teachers, the evaluation camps used to go on for many days, and classes were cancelled,” he says.

However, he says that things have started to improve as more teachers have been included in the evaluation process, and the number of papers that have to be evaluated each day has also increased.

What the university says

Madhu, the Controller of Examinations (CoE) of Kerala University says that as far as B.Tech courses are concerned, they are facing difficulty in finding teachers for evaluation as the course is not under the control of Kerala University anymore. “They work under KTU now. They still evaluate the papers of the remaining engineering students who used to belong to Kerala University, but there will obviously be a delay in this,” he says, adding that they are looking to solve the grievances of the students as soon as possible.

When questioned about the delay faced by non-engineering students under Kerala University, Madhu says, “Earlier there was an issue with the remuneration of the teachers for their evaluation duties. Some of them were not paid for close to two years, because of which many didn’t turn up. But now, after they got paid, things have improved and there is not as much delay as the students claim,” he says.

On Tuesday, a university-level adalat was convened by Higher Education Minister KT Jaleel in Thiruvananthapuram, in which the issues regarding the delay in evaluation and payment of the staff was raised.

According to Madhu, the minister pointed out that conducting exams was increasing the workload of the teachers.

“So, there was a proposal where the respective colleges will conduct odd semester examinations and the university will conduct even semester examinations. This will likely reduce the delay and improve the condition,” Madhu adds.

*Names changed 

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