Semester System a Disaster

Universities play a vital and crucial role in the development and evolution of societies. Universities generate new ideas, encourage innovation, educate young minds and create awareness and dynamic citizens in the society.

In a bid to reform the existing examination system University of Kashmir introduced the much talked aboutsemester system in 2015 followed by the Choice Based Credit System (CBCS). It was thought that in the annual system of examination most of the students neglect studies as the examinations are conducted only once in a year. Also it was a burden for the students to prepare the entire syllabus for the annual examination, even as it was assumed that the attendance of the college going students will get better. However after tasting the semester system for the last two years there has been a heated debate going on about the failure of this system especially when it comes to this part of the country.

The advocates of the semester system had perceived that adopting such a system will lead to a harmonization with the changes made at the post graduate level and lighten the examination load. But it came as no a surprise to many that the semester system turned out to be an utter failure rather a disaster. Many had already predicted the failure of this system given the political uncertainty and the topographical conditions of the state. it was like issuing license to people to erect multi storied buildings in a Seismic Zone-V. 

The fact is as many people believe that Semester system borrowed from American universities has failed in India, the same view is held by Prof. P. S Manisundaram, the first vice Chancellor of Bharthidasan University. In American system, it’s workable because the valuation process is entirely an internal affair. But when it comes to implementing the same system here, the load on students and teachers becomes enormous. Thesystem continues to be a success in unitary universities and autonomous colleges where the institutions are able to conduct examination and publish results in an organised way as students are in manageable numbers. It only means that the semester system is not at fault, but it just doesn’t suit the situation and the prevailing circumstances.

The semester system in vogue since 2015 has not only resulted in the wastage of the precious time of the students but it has made mockery of the teaching and learning process with too much focus on semesterexam without much classwork. The facts give a clear reflection of  the situation. The students who were enrolled in Feb-March 2017 for B.G  first year were supposed to take their first semester exam in July 2017, were appearing  in Nov- Dec 2017  in their first semester. This means their one precious year is lost that too at the cost of their class work because their second semester classification was supposed to begin in July but when no exam was conducted, students hardly came for the classes. Not only this the students who have admitted themselves in 2015 are appearing in their fourth semester only while as they should have been in their last semester, had the new system been implemented as promised by the university authorities then.

Similarly, those admitted under CBCS in 2016 are a in their third semester only. This silly system has not only frustrated the students due to the burden and unnecessary pressure  of the examinations which are not conducted on time but it has made a mockery of the classroom transactions as the colleges and classrooms remain empty throughout the year. 

The questions that many people ask are: Who will compensate the loss of the students? What’s the fun of carrying on with an exam system which compels a student to complete a three year degree course in five or six years? Why should we continue with a system which is hampering the academic progress of the students and making a mockery of evaluation. It is also being felt that university wants to mint more and more money through such faulty systems as poor students have to bear the exorbitant exam fee that university has imposed. There are hardly any facilities been given to the students except for the question papers and answers sheets but there’s no concessions in exam fee. In fact the university has been acting like anentrepreneurial entity and a money minting machine since last few years by increasing the admission as well as the examination fee without any rhyme or plausible reason.

Rayees Masroor 

[email protected] 


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