Online Process Takes A Toll On Teachers' Health
The academic calendar of Mumbai University and its affiliated colleges has been thrown into disarray , thanks to the online assessment of papers this year and the chaos that ensued. On Friday night, the university released exam dates for a majority of courses. Some of the masters' exams are scheduled in January . The mid-term exams across courses start from October and go on till midJanuary and will keep the colleges engaged throughout. The exams are not only eating into the Diwali vacation but also the Christmas break.
On Thursday , teachers who have been e-assessing papers continuously for three months complained of aggravating health problems due to the online process, in a meeting with the acting vice-chancellor of the university , Devanand Shinde.Sitting before the computer for hours has not only added to their stress but teachers have developed back-related problems and eye complications too, said their representatives from the Bombay University and College Teachers' Union (BUCTU).
A teacher said that a colleague, suffering from glaucoma, complained of pressure on her eyes going up due to excessive use of computers. “This could prove dangerous to the eye sight. Teachers are not getting any time to relax. Some of them who suffered from mild spondylitis are now complaining of aggravated pain,“ said the teacher.Even as the teachers requested the university to withdraw the examination timetable scheduled during Diwali vacation, a new circular scheduling other exams in the December break has agitated teachers.
Exams are starting from Oc tober 30 but the Diwali break was supposed to be till November 8, wrote the teachers in a letter addressed to the VC. “Without adhering to the original planning of the academic term, the university has encroached upon our vacation. Some of the teachers are still assessing papers of the April-May exam even as they are busy with their academic sessions,“ said a BUCTU representative.
A teacher said having the masters' exams in Decemberend and first week of January will also give very little time to the colleges to complete the syllabus before the April exam.“Every year, there are new policies that throw the schedule out of place. But most times, postgraduate exams like MCom and MSc get over by December. This year's delay is unprecedented,“ said the teacher.
A university official, however, said that it is not possible to satisfy every stakeholder. “If we keep the mid-term exams for postgraduate students in November or December, students will complain of getting little time to study . But we will look into the problems raised by the teachers,“ said an official.