Over 500 students of Gujarat Technological University have protested against the offline examination scheduled this month in the middle of a potential Corona wave.
Pointing to the 2,000 new Covid-19 cases recorded in Gujarat on Tuesday and the cumulative Corona caseload of 7,881 in the state, they said that the Education department is indifferent to their health concerns.
The students enrolled for various diploma courses are resisting the offline third semester examination scheduled to start on January 20 despite a worrying rise in the number of COVID 19 cases. They feel that the examination would endanger the health of over two lakh students, most of whom are below the age of 18 and not yet vaccinated.
Most of the students moved back to their homes during the Covid-19 pandemic as their classes became online. The new system of offline examination would leave them with no choice but to travel from different cities to the examination centre.
The vaccination for the age group of 15-18 began on January 3. The apprehensions of these students are not unfounded as many of them not have even received a single dose of vaccination by the time the examinations begin. This obviously makes them more susceptible to the virus.
Many students have expressed grave concern over this decision by the university. “Last year, we appeared for one examination offline and no one was wearing a mask or following any Covid-19 protocol during examination. Most of the centres do not follow the Covid-19 protocols and we are not even vaccinated,” said Anurag Sharma, Diploma of Engineering (DE) student.
Vismay Patel, another student pursuing a Diploma in Biomedical Engineering said, “I remember when we appeared for exams that no protocols were followed as there was dust on the benches, they were not even sanitized, putting us at grave risk.’’
The students mostly shifted to their homes during the Covid-19 pandemic as their classes shifted online. Now they would have to return to other cities on account of their examination. “I live in Vadodara and would have to travel to Ahmedabad for my examination. Travelling is not the only risk, I will have to live at PG and have to eat outside. I will have to go to centres which do not follow Covid-19 protocols. I am sure of it as I have first-hand experience,” said Dhairya Gandhi pursuing Diploma in Engineering from Government Polytechnic College, Ahmedabad.