Online examination and reduced holidays in the pipeline for Mumbai University degree colleges

With major final-year last semester examinations conducted via online mode, degree colleges affiliated to the University of Mumbai (MU) said online examinations are the way ahead for the forthcoming semesters and probably for the next academic year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, holiday breaks such as Christmas and summer vacation might be reduced in order to complete the syllabus via virtual teaching-learning.

Following instructions given by the MU, degree colleges are now preparing to conduct winter semester examinations of arts, commerce and science programmes by December 31, 2020, and of engineering, architecture, pharmacy and Master of Computer Applications (MCA) professional courses by January 15, 2021. The winter semester examinations will be conducted via online mode in view of the pandemic.

The principal of a degree college at Chembur said, "We are upgrading our software system to enhance the mode of conducting online examinations. We are trying to simplify the technical aspects both for students and teachers. We are working on making the process seamless and error-free so that we can use it in the future without the need to depend on offline examinations."

Arun Kumar, professor at a south Mumbai college, said, "Considering the spread of cases, it seems like we will have to depend on online mode of education for a longer time. We are setting question papers and teaching syllabus keeping the multiple-choice question (MCQ) format of online exams in mind. Both students and faculty need to equip themselves with virtual learning as it is the road ahead."

In addition, degree colleges said holiday breaks might be shortened in order to complete the syllabus. Pearl Sequiera, a professor said, "We have been informed that we will get just December 25 as a Christmas holiday. We will have to work and continue virtual regular classes, conduct winter semester examinations and complete assessment during the remaining days."

The principal of a Vile Parle college said, "Students, teachers and non-teaching staff should understand that online pedagogy is time-consuming and new. The academic year is already delayed due to the pandemic. We might need to curb holiday breaks and work virtually to complete the syllabus on time."

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Free Press Journal