Last week, Punjab University abruptly released the date sheet for M.A / M.Sc. Part-II exams starting from the 26th of September. The sudden announcement of the date sheet disclosing the commencement of exams on a two-week notice without any prior notification left the students in shock.
The students are as disappointed with this decision as they were with the sudden closure of the university in March. As we know, the lockdown period in the country created a situation that was not conducive to studies for most of the students. Those who live in far-flung areas with inadequate access to the internet service remained isolated from all academic activities. They were unable to obtain the study material from their localities. Also, the university did not care to provide them with the resources and assistance they had needed. Despite arranging online lectures, the teachers mostly remained unavailable to guide the students about their studies and research projects. In some cases, their courses were also not completed before the closure of universities. Thus, the students were expecting the restoration of academic activities before the commencement of exams, and this sudden announcement of the date sheet has bothered many of them.
Moreover, the decision of allotting examination centers to the hospitalized students near their respective hometowns is also surprising for the students who were not prior informed about this policy. The fact is that the students were expecting to visit their respective departments before the exams for either collecting the study material or meeting their teachers and classmates. Some students are also dissatisfied with this policy as now they have to travel to another distant city for taking their exams. Thus, if this policy has benefitted the students, it has also created difficulties for many other students. As a result, numerous students are now requesting the examination branch to shift their exam centers back to Lahore as they had mentioned in their admission forms.
The research work of the final year students is seriously affected; yet, the departments are not properly opened and access to libraries and laboratories is limited. The denial of the hostel and transport facility furthers adds to the problems of the students. Now, the boarders have to bear the cost of living and traveling in Lahore too. It is not the case that the students want further postponement of exams. They have already lost so much time due to the cessation of academic activities. The problem is the unfair treatment that the students are receiving from the administration. The exam policy looks imprudent and hastily-made.
It disappointed them; consequently, the students are showing their frustration against the system. Several laid a protest against the administration of law college earlier this week, whereas some other protests are also being planned. The anger of students– who had paid hefty fees with no outcome is justified. The university should have created a more student-friendly exam policy. If the administration had earlier considered all these factors, they would have created better circumstances for the students.