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BDS (Bachelor of Dental Surgery) students of 13 colleges affiliated with Baba Farid University of Health and Sciences in Faridkot, Punjab have been under stress for weeks. We were asked to return to campus in mid-June amid the coronavirus outbreak and appear for offline exams. For final year students, exams begin on 7 July, while first and second year students' exams will commence from 27 July.
Universities and colleges all over Punjab have cancelled the examinations, but on 5 July, our state’s Department of Medical Education and Research said that examinations will be held to recruit health staff in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis and BFUHS should conduct exams at the earliest.
We students feel forced into appearing for exams in this pandemic.
We are being asked to sign affidavits which specifically say that the college will not be responsible if we get infected with coronavirus. They are not providing us any safety, security, or insurance.
On Monday, 6 July, a PIL filed by the Dental Surgeons’ Association of India against BFUHS decision to conduct offline exams was dismissed by the Punjab High Court.
No Social Distancing in Hostel
While BFUHS has assured that all social distancing precautions will be taken, students of several colleges say norms are flouted regularly.
"“When I came to the college today, I saw that people who were doing thermal scanning were not wearing masks. When I came to the hostel, my room was so dirty and dusty.”" - Student
The hostels and mess halls are not clean either.
"“The sweeper who came to clean my room was not wearing a mask. No precautions were taken. The warden did not take any precaution. I went to the washroom and they were also so dirty. I feel the chances of getting infected there are 100 percent.”" - Student
These conditions are stressful for our families. Students of other states have to travel to sit for the exam, and many local students of Amritsar and Jalandhar will also be travelling. This is a matter of 8 exams.
After CM Amarinder Singh announced postponement of examinations for final semester students in all universities in Punjab, we took to Twitter to share our grievances. We wrote many mails as well, but no one listened to us. We did not ask for the exams to be cancelled but only postponed till a better time.
Come tomorrow ie 7 July, we will have to appear for exam during the COVID scare. Our government is not listening to us, the vice chancellor is ignorant to our requests.
Offline exams should not be conducted in a pandemic.
(The Quint’s calls to the BUFHS administration went unanswered.)
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