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Students of GIJ kick against plans to conduct ‘online’ end of semester exams

Students of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) are up in arms against management of the school’s decision to conduct End of Semester Examinations electronically amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The students are protesting against the online examination for countless reasons including financial and psychological instability resulting from the pandemic.

Management of the Institute, Wednesday, April 15, 2020, issued a communique containing the revised academic calendar of the school for the second semester of the 2019/2020 academic year which indicated that online exams will be held for the students.

The communique which also provided modalities for how the exams will be conducted stipulated that it has been scheduled to commence from Monday, May 25, 2020, to Sunday, June 12, 2020.

According to the school authorities, the decision was taken by the Academic Board “in response to government’s directive to all universities as part of emergency response to the precarious situation by the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on academic work at the Institute.”

But the move has been met with stiff opposition from the student’s body who have launched a virtual demonstration against same with the hashtags #SayNoToE-Exams and #StopE-ExamsNow.

Even though provisions have been made for students with peculiar issues to forward their grievances to management for resolution, the aggrieved students think the time is simply not right.

The issues of poor internet connectivity, trauma and lack of sound mind among others are topical in their agitations.

While some have resolved to petition the Ministry of Education and the Presidency over the matter, others are threatening to boycott the exams.

Expressing their reservations about the development, some of the students of the Institute who spoke to ABC News on condition of anonymity labeled it as unfair and a deliberate scheme to fail students.

“With the way the internet is unstable and poor these days, by the time you get connected to your exams or site, you’re already exhausted,” one of the students said.

“The mere mention of the word pandemic puts people through a whole lot of trauma, a whole lot of problems and a whole lot of headaches. Imagine a student whose parents are quarantined for testing positive for this virus going to write exams; imagine a student whose only source of income comes from a guardian who has tested positive for the coronavirus. How do you expect such a student to have a sound mind to write exams?” another student quizzed.

“This is not the best time to write examination looking at what is happening in the country and the situation everywhere. You want to focus on learning [and] at the same time you hear something happening there; you are getting scared, you want to check on your family members. You don’t even know whether the air you are breathing is safe for you because of what is happening in the society. I think management can do something about it. They can shift it or give us a better condition. Exams can always wait. Unless they are telling us it is an intention to fail us,” was the view of another.

“I personally, I really don’t subscribe to this online thing at all. It is true, we find ourselves in this ungodly hour where everybody is traumatized. I think the exams can really wait. We find ourselves in this COVID-19 era where we are not even having sound mind to write our paper,” one student added.


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