Students studying in the second year of Pre-University (PU) staged a protest at Mysore Bank Circle in Bengaluru on Wednesday, November 17. They were demanding the Department of Pre-University Education (DPUE) to revoke its decision of conducting the mid-term exam as a Board exam.
The DPUE had earlier released a circular on November 12 where it announced that the mid-term exams for second PU students will be conducted as a Board exam. This means that the question papers will be prepared centrally by the Board and the exams will be conducted at the district level. The circular also announced that the exams will take place from November 29 to December 30.
Earlier, the mid-term exams used to be conducted as a college level examination, which means that the question papers used to be formulated by the colleges taking into account the syllabus that was completed at their colleges. One of the main issues raised by the students is that 50% of the syllabus which is expected to be completed for the mid-term exam has not been finished in several colleges.
“We totally have 15 chapters in all the subjects and till now only three subjects have been completed. Even if we think they will only conduct exams based on six chapters in a subject for the mid-term, we will be left with just around 12 days to finish the syllabus. The lecturers in pressure might complete it but this is definitely not enough time for us to face the exams. Also, they need to understand that we couldn't learn the basics thoroughly as all the classes in the previous year were mostly online so we need more time and we need to put in more effort to understand our subjects this year,” said Girish Rathod, a second-year PU science student studying at Malleshwaram 18th cross Government PU College in Bengaluru.
He also pointed out that along with classes, science students will need to do practical subjects in the lab which would require more time. “If the mid-term exams are college exams, the college will only keep those subjects that they have thoroughly taught us and we can also focus on understanding them and writing exams,” Girish added.
Ashwini KS who is the president of AIDSO Karnataka, the organisation that led the protest, told TNM, “Due to the pandemic and lockdown, the present second PU batch was promoted from first PU without writing the examinations. This means that after nearly one and half years, they will be writing exams. In the midst of this severe academic crisis, students are already under tremendous pressure. The start of the present academic year has been delayed by three months compared to the past. So the time for teaching and preparation has also shrunk. Now the imposition of board exams has caused a lot of worry among students and lecturers.”
Ashwini also stated that there is no uniformity among the various districts in terms of syllabus completion and that the time allowed for preparation is not sufficient.