IN A LIMBO

Delayed start to academic year weighs heavy on teachers, pupils

Shortened academic year has put many students in a fix

Delayed start to academic year weighs heavy on teachers, pupils

The CBSE is yet to take a call on Class XII board exams in June, while the state government has extended Covid-19 restrictions on educational institutions and this may lead to shortened session.

Tribune News Service

Neha Saini

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 13

Uncertainty prevailing over CBSE board exams and delay in several odd-even semester exams due to the second wave of Covid-19 has once again made an entire academic year of 2021-22 go haywire. Several colleges have delayed admissions for 2021-22 and are looking towards a rushed up or shortened academic year.

The CBSE is yet to take a call on Class XII boards in June, while the state government has extended Covid-19 restrictions on educational institutions. Under these circumstances, academicians believe that they have been looking towards a shortened academic session, putting students in a fix.

“The exams for even classes are still going on in some colleges through online mode. Several institutions are waiting for fresh guidelines by the state government in order to resume offline exams for odd classes. In a regular academic session, May-June is the time when admissions for new session begin. But the entire process has been delayed by at least three months. If, assuming that no extension of curbs happens, the exams are conducted in June, the admission for new classes will begin in August-September. This is way too late for entire syllabus to be completed in time,” said Dr Rajesh Kumar, principal, DAV College.

Dr Mehal Singh, Principal, Khalsa College, too feels that the constant delay in academic process is not good for students and institutions. “The lapse of two-three months in the beginning of the 2021-22 academic session will put an added pressure on teachers and students to finish the syllabus within the regular academic time frame. That would be a challenge given that we are still not sure on how long the second wave is going to last. Also, it would upset the balance of a student’s career or academic plaans.”

Even colleges offering professional degrees in engineering and IT are looking towards a challenging year ahead. “We started our first semester batch in November last year due to pandemic. This year too, we might have to begin with our new batch from November. The process of completing the syllabus is without any break for teachers as well as students, which is taxing both mentally and physically,” said Dr VK Banga, principal, Amritsar College of Engineering and Technology.

Dr Pushpinder Walia, principal, BBKDAV College, said the direct implications of extended academic year will only be gauged when things become clear. “Currently, the situation is highly unpredictable. So, we will try to make things work whatever the situation will be.”

When the state government had announced the shutdown of educational institutions and schools, several colleges were in the middle of conducting offline exams for odd/even classes. The suspended schedule of exams will only resume if the government lifts the restrictions. While students and colleges wait for that to happen, no provisional or conditional admissions are being done.