DU Online Exams: Slow Pace Of Internet A Hurdle For Students In Kashmir

New Delhi: From going to friends’ homes to keeping their fingers crossed that 2G internet connectivity does not deceive them, Delhi University’s Kashmiri students have an additional set of worries regarding their online open book exams.

The Delhi University commenced its online open book examinations from Monday, amid opposition from students and teachers who had been demanding that exams be scrapped and evaluation be done over past performance.

Abha Dev Habib, a professor at Miranda House said, Kashmiri students from our college said they want education and not depression”.

She said even if the students in Kashmir managed to get connected to the 2G network, they found it difficult to download heavy applications and the internet connection would not always be stable.

Students have also said they have to rely on resources provided by others and miss out on one-on-one interaction which is the crux of the teaching and learning process. They have also claimed that many teachers are inconsiderate to these situations before giving out links and readings in class and during assignments, she added.

Bushra, a student of BA (English) Hons at Zakir Husain College, said her district in Jammu and Kashmir was in a state of lockdown.

“I am from Rajouri district. We have 2G network here. I had planned to go to a friend’s house for taking my exams but it is almost four hours away and it’s not feasible during the pandemic. Internet cafes are closed because of the lockdown in my area. I am praying that my 2G network does not deceive me and I am able to take my exams which will begin from tomorrow, she said.

Samiya Aziz, another student of Zakir Husain College, said her nearest Common Service Centre (CSC) was 16 kilometres away and during the pandemic it was not feasible for her to travel for each exam.

She said she will go a friend’s place where there is wi-fi connection to take her exams.

A Kashmiri student of St Stephen’s College said he had to travel almost 69 kilometres from Kulgam to Srinagar to take his exams and still faced problems due to unstable internet connectivity.

The situation is not very good in my area. I had to travel 69 kilometres to Srinagar, take my exams in an internet caf but while uploading I was getting the message, Please check your internet connection’. I refreshed the page multiple times and even tried uploading the answer sheets over my phone’s 2G connection but got the same message. Eventually, I had to ask my friend in Lucknow, who was also taking the exam, to upload the answer sheets using my user ID. It was a terrible experience, he said.

Another student in Kashmir from Dyal Singh College said he relied on his phone’s 2G network to appear for the exam.

I had not faced issues while uploading answers on my phone’s 2G network during the mock tests so I relied on my phone’s internet connection. I faced issues while uploading answers and got error messages while uploading them on the portal. I kept refreshing it but got the same message,” he said.

He said he had to email the answers to the university and the college, and could manage to send them almost 20 minutes after the stipulated deadline of 7.30 pm.

“I do not know whether my answer sheet will be accepted, he said.

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