Higher Education

Higher Education

Shocker: Hundreds of students who took exam marked absent

PUBLISH DATE 25th August 2017

MUMBAI: Just when students of University of Mumbai (MU) thought the announcement of results would end their woes, there’s more to add to the chaos. Hundreds of third-year Bachelor of Arts (BA) students, who received their results on Wednesday, complained that they’ve been marked absent for exams they appeared for in April, and their results have been withheld. Almost every city college has received complaints from BA psychology and BA literature students.

“It’s one thing to tell students that their results are withheld pending assessment, but wrong to mark students absent without any proof. Our students were left in tears,” said Hemlata Bagla, principal, KC College, Churchgate, adding that the college received several complaints on Thursday and forwarded all to the university immediately. “Instead of calming students’ anxiety, the university has added to their stress.”

While colleges received a consolidated sheet with results of BA psychology and BA literature, complaints of students started pouring in on Thursday. “When I checked my result online on Wednesday, I was told my result is withheld but when I checked the result sheet in college on Thursday, I was shocked to find that I’ve been marked absent for two exams,” said a student of St Andrew’s College, Bandra.

She said that close to 38 students from her batch were facing the same problem.

“It’s complete chaos not just because of the problem but the fact that there’s no point of contact to help bring clarity in such situations anymore. All we can do is forward students’ complaints to the university help desk,” said Marie Fernandes, principal of St Andrew’s College.

After missing several deadlines to announce results of all 477 exams held by MU between mid-March and May 2017, the state government has ordered MU to announce results of those students whose paper assessment was over. So, while, several major results have been announced in the past one week, including that of BA, Bachelor of Management Studies (BMS), Bachelor of Science-Information Technology (BSc-IT), among others, results of almost 20%-25% students from each department have been withheld as assessment of their papers are still pending.

On Thursday, the help desk set up by MU to hear complaints of students related to results was overcrowded with anxious students. Students’ worst nightmares came true when the help desk staff, set up at the examination house in Kalina campus, were informing students about the reasons behind this error. “I was shocked when the help desk staff told me that my result is withheld either because assessment is still not complete or because my papers are not found. Does this mean they have lost our answer booklets?” asked Abhishree Kulkarni, 21.

Hundreds of students were seen waiting in serpentine queues outside the examination house on Thursday, most complaining about the same issues.

On being questioned about the problem, officials from the varsity blamed the error on a “technical glitch”. “It’s not possible to find out how many are affected by the problem as of now, but we are checking into all the complaints. It looks more like a technical glitch at this moment. Students just need to calm down for a few days because we will be releasing all results by August 31,” said Vinod Malale, deputy registrar, heading the help desk.