Another organization to join students and teachers in protest against the online Open Book Examinations, The National Federation of the blind has declared University of Delhi’s decision of Open Book Examination Scheme (OBE) for the final year students as against the equality. With the declaration of the date sheet for the online examination, the federation has demanded that the visually impaired students of the university should be analyzed and graduated on the basis of their past performance and Internal Assessment.
Mr. S.K. Rungta, General Secretary of the Federation has argued that sightless are more exposed to the virus, as they depend on “touch” more than anyone else. Delhi University has issued guidelines separately for students with disabilities that allow them five hours o write the Open Book Examination (OBE). However, the federation has moved to Delhi High Court against University’s decision.
“In such an uncertain situation, the conduct of examination through an open book would risk the health of students in general. In addition, blind and other disabled students are more vulnerable. The federation even conducted a survey where about 150 blind students expressed their inability to appear for the online examination,” said Rungta. He held an online conference on Saturday where he said that the University did not pay heed to the needs of the students.
The federation has filed a writ petition before the Delhi high court, challenging the University’s decision to conduct online exams. They are of the viewpoint that visually impaired students can be passed on the basis of the previous semester marks and Internal Assessment, the same criteria announced by the University for first and second-year students.
“The federation has prayed for directions to the university, UGC, and the ministry to either declare the result of visually impaired and other disabled students on the basis of their performance on the previous semester marks…or offline open book examination one week after reopening of colleges and universities in the ratio of 50 percent marks for offline exam and 50 percent for internal assessment,” the federation said in a statement.
The major problem that would be faced by the blind students, according to the federation, would be arranging for scribes at this hour of pandemic where one is afraid to go near the other one. A statement issued by the federation says: “The conduct of the exams through this mode by Delhi University has also completely ignored the fact that the blind and some other students would need a scribe to write their exam who will not be available in present scenario both because of the fear of life and adherence to social distancing norms.”
“Visually impaired students will not be able to participate( in the entrance exams) as they would not be able to appear in the proposed open book…exams in July 2020,” Mr. Gupta said and that would be equal to taking away their right to higher studies.