CHENNAI: Thousands of college students are worried about their exams and careers as a lack of planning from the higher education department owing to the Covid-19 third wave threatens to offset their career goals.
Sankarbabu, a final-year engineering student from a city college, worried about a possible delay in semester exams and completing his course on time. He got placed in a software company with a rider that he should clear all his exams without arrears.
Ankita Kerketta from Andaman and Nicobar islands, a first-year MSc student in a city college, is stuck in her hostel and awaiting the announcement for her exams. She says she will return to her native place only if her college allows her to take her exams in online mode. She is not sure if she would be able to return to the city to write physical mode exams.
Colleges say that the syllabus was completed last month but the government gave two months’ time for semester exams without considering the Covid-19 situation. Now, there is an uncertainty regarding the exams.
“If the exams had got over in December 2021, I could have focussed on the next semester. Now, I have to study for the last semester and the next semester at the same time. I’m not sure when physical mode exams will be conducted,” Sankarbabu said.
Higher education minister K Ponmudi had earlier granted two months time to students to prepare for physical mode exams. The state government also postponed semester exams for all colleges, including autonomous colleges and deemed universities to January 21.
Because of this decision, many colleges repeated what they taught online in physical mode classes as well.
“The lack of planning on the part of higher education department has created uncertainty among students. It was a good move to conduct physical mode exams. But they wasted a month when exams could be conducted and students could have moved on to the next semester,”said a principal who spoke on a condition of anonymity.
S Vaidhyasubramaniam, vice-chancellor of Sastra, said final year students should be given priority over other students.
Meanwhile, students from Class X and Class XII continue to attend physical classes despite an increase in cases.
Hemavathi, a Class XII student from a city school said she was more worried about her board exams than the rapidly spreading Covid-19 cases in Chennai.