Online exams have become a necessity during this current pandemic. The need to avoid having large groups of people contained in a single room to avoid the spread of the COVID-19 disease led to all schools and colleges being shut down.
In order to not hinder the students and their education, classes moved to an online format, and so did the exams. However, with this new format came new problems, some of them being faulty internet connections, some students not being able to afford online exams, exam websites crashing leading to students being unable to submit their answers in time.
The latest one to join this unfortunately is online exam harassment, where exam proctors have been found to be sending inappropriate messages to some of the students, usually female.
The National Student Union of India (NSUI), Karnataka recently exposed one such teacher who seemingly used inappropriate words for a female student when she asked them a question.
What Happened With This Bengaluru College Teacher?
On June 21st, the Twitter page of NSUI Karnataka posted about how a female student when finished with her online exam asked the proctor if she could end her exam.
To this, the proctor replied “another 3 minutes baby”.
This happened to a student who appeared in today's online examination conducted by @ChristBangalore. She asked if she could end as she was done and the proctor replied "three more minutes baby".
— NSUI Karnataka (@NSUIKarnataka) June 21, 2021
This instantly sparked a lot of outrage with people and students asking what kind of way is this to talk to a student.
Many commented that a proctor or anyone from the staff should not be using these terms of endearments.
The NSUI page also posted this screenshot of how this is not the first time this is happening, but sadly no action was taken against the proctor.
However, more horrifyingly than this was the attitude of a teacher when they were told of this incident. Instead of siding with the student, the teacher apparently said how there is nothing wrong with this and it was just “a caring approach”.
The teacher further defended the proctor by saying they might be a senior person and the student should “take it in the right spirit”.
Not The First Time Happening
Apparently, this is not the first instance of a proctor behaving inappropriately with students.
Christ University is not the only one being accused of such behaviors of their proctors. Not long ago students of Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS) were outraged about invigilators accessing their personal details and messaging them on social media platforms later on.
A third-year student of BA (Honours) Liberal Arts at NMIMS, Aakriti Bansal posted on her social media how she and several other females were “approached” by their online invigilator while she was writing her 5th-semester examinations in January.
Aakriti commented that “I feel threatened. All my information such as phone number and address is available on the examination form. To know that some random, unknown guy has access to it and can misuse it is scary.”
Another student from NMIMS, Divyanshi Asnani who is in her second year of BBA also posted about getting a message after her exam on January 5th saying “Today, I was proctoring you when you are giving your exam, I don’t know suddenly while scrolling I saw you and… thought to contact you, then after applying my source I got your number….” along with the person requesting to follow her on Instagram.
Christ University has also been in news due to its decision to conduct end-semester examinations in the online format. Recently the South West Regional Office of the University Grants Commission (UGC) inquired about the institute’s exam format after receiving a letter from the NSUI and students of the institute.
As per their letter, the students were asking the college to use an open book and/or assignment-based exam formats instead of using artificial intelligence (AI) and proctored mode (online invigilation).
This certainly raises a lot of questions on cybersecurity, online harassment, how safe students are while giving these exams and what exactly are college authorities are doing to keep this from happening again.
Image Credits: Google Images
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