Lack of planning leaves students in limbo

Even after four months, KU has failed to devise a plan for BCom, BSc, and LLB exams


Safdar Rizvi June 20, 2020
PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: The spread of Covid-19 has eliminated the possibility for students to graduate from public and private colleges in Karachi and pursue master’s degrees because of a sheer lack of planning on part of the authorities. Even after almost four months, the University of Karachi (KU) deans’ committee has not been able to come up with a plan for the completion of different examinations which were halted midway due to the lockdown.

The unusual delay in deciding the procedure for conducting the LLB and medical exams has left students in a state of confusion regarding their academic and professional future. Besides, the university’s examination department has also delayed the issuance of the results for graduate examinations that had been completed.

Per sources, thousands of students belonging to government colleges affiliated with KU are desperately waiting to take the exams or get their results.

The examination process both for BCom private and BSc is still incomplete. Out of a total of 14 exams for BCom private, only nine could be conducted.

After the lifting of the lockdown, the remaining five examinations, including two exams for BCom Part-I and three exams from BCom Part-II could not be held.

Even though the written examinations for BSc had been conducted before the lockdown, practical assessments could not take place in colleges. Students have been waiting to hear from the university regarding new dates, but nothing has been done so far.

Sources said that KU acting controller of examinations Zafar Hussain had recommended issuing results based on the average marking of the subjects for which exams could not take place, along with the results of practical assessments for BSc.

However, the decision was opposed by the dean of faculty of administrative sciences Dr Tahir Ali during a deans’ committee meeting, as he suggested the university wait until July 15.

“We will conduct the examination and the practicals if educational institutions reopen. However, if the situation further deteriorates, it would not be possible to conduct the exams,” he said.

The exams for BCom and BA regular had been conducted before the lockdown. However, it has been learnt that several college teachers have not handed over the results even after reviewing the examination copies, while the 2018 BCom overseas results were only announced on Friday. The lack of staff due to Covid-19 and the closure of the examination department have delayed the tabulation, due to which results for several exams are not being issued.

Even though a court order allowed authorities to conduct the examination for LLB and the university even prepared admit cards for students, owing to the closure of educational institutions amid the lockdown, the plan could not materialise.

As per the court order, the exams for LLB session 2018 and 2019 were to be held simultaneously, whereas the exams for three LLB programmes are to be conducted for the last time. Nonetheless, the authorities have failed to come up with a plan or the possibility of conducting the exams online to save students’ time.

Similarly, the exams for new students of the Karachi Medical and Dental College (KMDC), together with MBBS and BDS exams for old students of medical colleges that have ended their affiliations with KU, are yet to be held.  The exams for MA private are scheduled to be conducted in July, regarding which no strategy has been devised so far.

Owing to incomplete BCom private and BSc exams, students might not be able to submit their applications for enrolling in the evening and morning programmes of Karachi University. As a result, they may have to wait for another year to resume their studies.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 20th, 2020.

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