Online Exams: Switch off video, lose five marks


Students instructed to keep cameras switched on during exams

Students stand to lose scores if they employ tricks to clear exams and are caught. Now, in the post pandemic online classroom, what constitutes such unwarranted behaviour?

Of late, city schools are redefining what is and what isn’t malpractice. The latest addition is switching off the video.

Many schools are sending out circulars explaining that if students switch off the video during exams, they shall be punished. For every five minutes of the missing video stream, a student shall lose five marks, for instance.

Though the physical classes have begun from grade six onwards, many parents are still refusing to send their wards to schools in-person. As mid-term exams have begun, many schools are conducting online exams. A latest circular from a school read: “As you are all aware that mid-term exams for the academic year 2021-22 have commenced, parents are requested to support the institution, by providing your wards with good gadgets and network facility… Students are strictly instructed to keep their cameras switched on throughout the exam. If any student is ‘invisible’ – moving away from the screen or switching off the video – for more than five minutes for whatever re ason, five marks will be deducted from his/her actual score. The entire session of examination will be recorded…”

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Picture for representational purpose only

If the exams are held in schools, then teachers act as invigilators. Now, as the exam venue has shifted to homes, parents have been made the invigilators. “Parents are requested to monitor the wards during exams and strictly prevent their kids from indulging in malpractice. This has been done in the interest of the wards. We have been counselling parents that if they help the students cheat, then the student may score marks but end up setting a bad precedent which can have a negative effect on the student’s career. Hence, we have full confidence in the parents and we hope that they will be fair in their new avatar,” said Umadevi R, principal of a private school.

Reacting to this, Gopal Reddy, a parent said: “As parents sit in online classrooms these days, we see that there is a competition among parents to help students so that they do better. However, I strongly feel that we need to desist from helping students cheat.”

A major hurdle giving exams in online classrooms is network issues. Many parents have petitioned schools that they need alternatives in case of a network crash.

“For issues of network/power/any other genuine reasons, class teachers should be updated immediately,” a school stated.

On a lighter note, another circular ended thus: “Dear parent, please clear the fees due, if any, within this week without fail.”



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Sagar Biswas

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