A Critical Evaluation!

The Coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the working of all the sections of the society. Tourism sector, consumer sector, IT sector, Pharma sector, you name it and the reports will show you how adversely are they all affected. One of the most crucial sectors which is brutally affected is the education sector. The sector that is responsible for building future leaders have become merely a formality. Students give exams but not for value addition but just for the sake of giving them. If you ask what a student has learned in the last year and a half, more than half of them would be completely clueless.

Since the beginning of 2020, we have seen a new way of conducting exams but is this way better than the offline exams? Let us ponder upon that. There is no question that online exams are economical and does save a lot of time and the environment but the real question is “Is it worth it”? A lot of students have been welcoming to the concept of conducting exams online but a lot of them have also opposed it on various grounds.
To begin with, not all students have access to a computer or a laptop or a stable internet connection which makes it difficult for them to attempt their exams and buying a new devise puts a lot of financial pressure on the families. Students living in technologically backward areas are suffering the most.
In addition to this, students who reside in areas where there is unstable electricity or internet connection have difficulty connecting with their teachers in case there is a problem with their class or exam. This creates additional pressure on the child. Institutions must understand that problems like having unstable electricity and internet connection are out of their control and thus ensure all students are well prepared before the exams are conducted.
Furthermore, there is the biggest barrier while conducting online exams and that is Cheating. There is no way of knowing if the student has written the exam himself or did he take the assistance of external resources. If the exam has been completely cheated then what is the point! Children are the future of this nation and if they rely solely on cheating to pass their exams then what kind of future are we building here? Not only the university students but the students who are still in school are inclined towards cheating to pass their exam rather than studying before hand. The mentality that has been going around is “If everyone is cheating then why can’t I”. Students cheat using their cell phones, laptops and even books. Online exams have completely turned into open book exams with zero value addition. Everyone is so dependent on cheating that now they are worried as to how they will attempt the offline exams as and when the institutions open.
Lastly, students are not the only ones who have been suffering in one way or the other, the teachers are also facing difficulties while teaching as well as while grading the exams. Professors who have been teaching for a long period of time found it very difficult to shift to online mode of teaching. Not only this, the teachers are unable to complete the syllabus on time which ultimately affects the students.

While online exams have proved to be a blessing during these testing times, they should not be used to judge a candidate as a whole. People who are scoring good could be naturally intelligent or could just be relying on cheating. Thus colleges and universities need to work a little harder to design a question paper that is intellectualy challenging and that would judge the aptitude level of the student rather than asking questions on what is given directly in the book or on the internet. Teachers can shift their focus on putting case study based questions to examine the cognitive abilities as well as subject understanding of the student. Now that the students are well versed with how exams are to be downloaded and submitted, the time limit could be reduced so as to reduce the time for copying from here and there. Lastly, students must be asked to keep their cameras on during the examination and teachers could keep a close eye on how they progress with their exam. Also, the teacher must award marks to a student on the basis of his/her performance rather than awarding more marks just to maintain the reputation of the institutions.

Thus, there is a dire need to put this cheating culture to an end before the students lose their capabilities to remember their own syllabus. Conduct pop quizzes, give assignments from time to time, just keep the students up to date about the syllabus in an interesting way so that they don’t resolve to cheating during the final examination. The students must also make an effort to be better. Cheating only helps you to obtain marks but knowledge goes a long way and helps you in various competitive exams that your might appear for in the future. Online exams are the best option in these times of the pandemic. Students should prepare well for their own better future. Determination and Hard work are the keys to your success.

Categories: Education

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