The teachers of Jadavpur University have written to vice-chancellor Suranjan Das opposing the decision of the university’s examination board on the assessment of first- and second-year BTech students who skipped their exams on May 5, 6 and 7.
The exam board decided the students would be assessed based on their regular class tests and the best score obtained in the rest of the papers in the current semester.
In the letter, the teachers, who want the students to write the exams, said: “awarding marks without examinations is not acceptable. It dilutes the entire examination process and actually diminishes the reputation of the university”.
The exam board that met on Saturday decided the assessment process.
The “more adverse effect” is that the students would not learn the subject if they don’t write the tests, the teachers argued.
“Furthermore, this will hamper the career of the students, firstly because they will pass through a process which may not be acceptable by future employers and other institutions for higher studies,” said the letter signed by Partha Pratim Ray, general secretary of the JU Teachers’ Association (Juta).
A JU official said students could not write the May 5 exam because tests were not held that day since it was Id.
The students did not write the exams on May 6 and 7 after they kept the dean confined on May 5, demanding online or assignment-based exams, the official said.
“The first- and second-year students did not write the papers on May 6 and 7 following an assurance from the dean of engineering to the students’ union in the engineering faculty about holding special semester tests later,” the official told The Telegraph.
Another varsity official said the students had to write the remaining papers scheduled after May 7 because the faculty council in engineering and technology that met on May 6 said the exam board’s April decision to hold offline exams had to be followed.
The exam board met last Saturday to decide how the students would be assessed in the three papers.
The board resolved: “The marks of the students who have not appeared for the scheduled exams on May 5, 6 and 7 will be calculated, based on the following mechanism: 30 per cent of the marks will be taken from the regular class test, which were conducted for the respective subjects and the rest 70 percent will be taken from the best score obtained in the rest of the papers in the current semester in which the student has appeared the exam.”
This mechanism has drawn criticism from the teachers.
“We would also like to emphasise that from the academic point of view, awarding marks without exams... The more adverse effect is that the students do not learn the subjects,” their letter said.
When contacted, VC Das said that he would not be able to speak because he was in Delhi to attend a meeting.
Juta general secretary Ray said they started collecting feedback from the teachers when they learnt about the board’s decision. “Over 92 per cent of the respondents did not agree with the decision of the exam board. We believe that this decision will... dilute the academic standard of the university,” said Ray.
An emergency meeting of the university’s executive council has been convened on May 26 to consider the exam board’s decision, a JU official said.