Video Editor: Mohd Ibrahim
Video Producer: Aliza Noor
We, the students of medicine and dentistry in Karnataka’s Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS), are distressed over the university’s decision to conduct offline examinations next month. At a time when coronavirus cases are on the rise and a lockdown is still imposed in some states, we are worried about our health and safety.
“The university is more concerned about writing exams than gaining knowledge. What is the point of such a degree?”Student
Students believe that taking exams at this hour of time cannot take precedence over the safety of their lives. While the exams have been postponed for now, the risks remain.
What if We Get Infected?
The situation is not only very stressful but also very difficult for those students who are in the remote areas of the country, especially the Northeast states. It must be noted that there are a lot of students from Bihar, Assam – states which are suffering from floods at the same time.
All the other courses have been cancelled. Why this punishment only for us? Aren’t we also students? Don’t our lives matter? If a student writes one exam and gets infected, then what about others in contact with him?
Additionally, the colleges under RGUHS are asking us to pay fees for the next semester, adding to our woes.
This is coming in spite of the university asking the colleges to either postpone the due date of payment of fees or allowing the students to pay the fee using EMI facilities.
They are even asking us to pay hostel fee, when in reality we haven’t been in the hostel for the past 5 months.
How to Travel?
Another issue is that of transport. At this particular point, there are no trains running, so obviously our parents have to come to the college to drop us and then go back.
What if our parents get infected? What will be our mental state? Should we study for our exams or think about our parents?
The problem is that even if we get ourselves the PPE kit or masks, sanitizers and hand gloves, how do we reach our colleges which are hundreds of kilometres away from our hometowns? Moreover, the flight fares have been hiked so much that a middle class family is forced to think twice before booking their tickets. All these factors make it tough for us to go back to campus.
Barriers in Studying Online
For a course like MBBS, most of the learning is done through practical means like dissection and performing experiments. It is especially hard to grasp concepts from lessons done through online classes.
Practical exams will be extremely difficult for subjects like Anatomy where we have not dissected since past 5 months now.
“Fifty percent of OPDs in the medical colleges have been allotted for COVID-19 cases and some examination centres are in the same campus itself. How far is this safe for us?”Student
There are other alternate options to consider as well. The colleges have our marks till the third year. They also have our final year internal assessment marks. They can evaluate us on the basis of our previous performances. In addition to this, they can also conduct any vivas, or any online examination if need be.
We are mentally stressed. All we want is the authorities to understand our problems and come to a solution, because our safety and health is our priority over everything else.
(The Quint has reached out to Rajiv Gandhi University of Health and Sciences. The story will be updated if there is a response.)
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