Sahnewal, June 1
Candidates appearing for their semester exams conducted by Panjab University were in for a surprise today when they reached their examination centres and found that they no longer existed at the designated places. They had been suddenly shifted to schools as the ‘Joint Action Committee’ (JAC) had refused to conduct the exams due to the ‘stubborn’ attitude of the state government regarding the withdrawal of the proposed centralised admission portal.
Educators’ opposition to centralised admission portal
The JAC comprises the managements, principals and teachers’ associations of aided and unaided colleges of the state.
A candidate reached the local centre in Samrala as usual for his exam but was informed that the centre had been shifted to AS Senior Secondary School at Khanna. “I literally had goosebumps as it was already time for the exam and reaching the ‘new’ centre would at least take another half an hour. I got so stressed that I could not concentrate while writing the exam and it did not go well,” the candidate said.
A physically challenged student said: “I had to start two hours early to reach the centre at Khanna today. I am physically challenged and my father helped me in reaching the spot.”
“Had I had not prior knowledge of the sudden shift of my centre, I would have missed the exam today. The government has no right to play with the future of students in this manner,” he added.
“Although Panjab University had uploaded the information regarding the change of centres on its website, many students failed to check the notification as they were busy with preparations,” Rajinder Kaur, principal, Guru Gobind Singh Khalsa College for Women, Jhar Sahib, said.
“As far as our students are concerned, we arranged special transport for them and they were able to reach the centre in time. But they were definitely under mental stress due the sudden shifting of centre today,” the principal added.
Chamkaur Singh, district president, Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers’ Union, said they had been forced to resort to strike.
“It is unfortunate that the state government is backtracking from his commitment that proposed centralised admission portal shall be withdrawn and colleges shall be free to make admission as per their will without the interference of the government. This admission portal is a direct attack on the autonomy of the colleges who shall have no the independence to admit students on their own,” he added.
Ludhiana: Meanwhile, in response to the JAC’s call, aided and unaided colleges remained closed and teachers organised protests against the decision to implement a centralised admission portal on Thursday.
Students of Khalsa College for Women and SDP College for Women, Ludhiana, were instructed to appear at the examination centre set up at SSS School, Jawahar Nagar. A college teacher said: “A few students were also confused as it was not clear whether the examination centre was setup at the girls’ school or boys’ school in Jawahar Nagar. Actually, the centre was established at the boys’ school.”
“It was particularly challenging for students of rural areas, especially Narangwal, Ramgarh and Sudhar areas, to reach for their centres today. We received calls from students until late last night as they received information about the centres very late. The information regarding the exams was also being shared on WhatsApp groups,” said a college teacher. — TNS
Change of exam centres baffles many
With the ongoing tussle between the state government and the ‘Joint Action Committee’ (JAC) over the centralised admission portal and the decision of the latter to boycott conducting Panjab University exams to protest the move, the students have turned out to be the biggest sufferers. Many of them were in for a surprise today when they learnt that their exam centres had been suddenly shifted to schools.
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