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Talking Point: Should schools start considering offline exam for junior classes – Times of India

System and staff trained for online exam

Schools should believe in ensuring student safety and well-being. We intend to continue with assessments through our virtual platforms. In the last few months, we have perfected and honed our systems of teaching, learning and assessments using digital platforms effectively. We have trained both our staff and students to smoothly transition to digital modes of assessments while trying to ensure the highest standards of academic honesty.

–Nandini Ghatak, academic head-middle school, Aditya Birla World Academy, Mumbai

Flexibility to choose

Students must be given an option to choose between the offline and online exam as the COVID-19 crisis is yet to get over. Schools can prepare different sets of question paper with equal difficulty level to ensure a level playing field between students appearing either in online or offline mode. Those who have been attending online classes and migrated to their home town after COVID-19 outbreak last year should be allowed to appear for offline exam in their home districts if needed.

— Indra Mani Upadhyay, PGT Hindi, Kendriya Vidyalaya, CRPF Bijnaur, Lucknow

Offline exam is the best

COVID has taught us how to deal with the crisis and how to overcome it. I feel transparent assessments are important to check the academic abilities of a student. The traditional methodology of assessment gives us a better way to test the subject knowledge of the student. Online platforms are yet to get fool proof to prevent cheating. As we have protocols in place and by following the SOPs, all of us can help prevent the spread of the virus and conduct offline exams safely. The traditional method of assessment is the best option.

— Vanithalokesh S K, principal, BMN Public School, Bengaluru

Flip side of online exam

Education is one of the sectors that have been hit hard due to Coronavirus. However, human ingenuity has shown a way out of this crisis. Technology-based educational tools have ensured that the process of teaching and learning remains unhindered. Still, the greatest challenge in education now is about the conduct of examination. To some extent, online examinations have responded to this challenge, but there are also lingering doubts about their feasibility, fairness and egalitarian thrust. The advantages of conducting online exams cannot be overlooked. But there is a flip side, too. It may deepen and accentuate the ‘digital divide’ among the students and push the poorer among them to the peripheries. There is also no guarantee that it will totally obliterate unfair means in the exams. It seems the negative side of online exams weighs way more than the positive side.

— Sr Christina SCV, principal, De Paul Public school, Kalpetta, Wayanad

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