With the decision of the Mizoram University (MZU) to hold the semester exams online, nearly 24,000 undergraduate students across Mizoram are left in the lurch, with some taking extreme measures to overcome the hurdle.
"We know the students’ problems. But various NGOs, students’ organisations and college authorities are lending a helping hand by making various makeshift and temporary arrangements in the hilltops or in the elevated locations," Lalnuntluanga, the Controller of Examinations for MZU, was quoted as saying by the Indian news agency IANS.
He told the agency that the internet connection is particularly poor in the state’s southern districts of Saiha, Lawngtlai, Lunglie because they “are not only remote and hilly, they are also along the Myanmar and Bangladesh borders.”
Some of the civil bodies and student organisations like the Young Mizo Association (YMA) and the Mara Students’ Organisation have come to the aid of the students. After scouting for a location with a strong network for days, the students’ bodies set up the exam centre in temporary makeshift huts in the middle of dense forest, on hilltops and at high altitude areas, reported India Today.
One such tent was made using bamboo, banana tree leaves and tarpaulin at Tlao-tla hilltop near Mawhrei, a small village in south Mizoram’s Saiha district bordering Myanmar, from where students have been appearing for the exams since 1 June.
“We built the hut to shelter the students and ourselves from bad weather and rain since the weather is unpredictable in the area,” KL Paul Vanropuia, president of Mawhrei village unit of Mara Students Organization, was quoted as saying by India Today.
“There are two benches which we carried from the village and these benches are used by the students as a table to write on.”
He informed that till 3 June, about 11 students appeared for their online exam from the spot, while about 39 trekked to the hut to take their online classes.