The announcement of an online examination for the 2019/2020 Second Semester Academic Year has sparked a lot of discomfort among students in most public universities. An institution like the Ghana Institute of Journalism in its directive from the Academic Board has scheduled examinations from the 25th of May to the 12th of June, 2020. Out of 4 or 5 essay type questions, students will be allowed to answer 2 and may have up to 24 hours from the time of the examination to submit their work via a designated site by the institute. In a public notice to students, the institute stated that, it will be an offence to Utilize the services of tutors or other persons paid and unpaid, seek help from other students as well as Collaborate with other students. Following network challenges faced across the nation by workers, non-workers and students, the idea of an online examination has been debunked by most students while others think for the time being, it’s the only option available to keep the educational sysyem still on track. Gideon Amoako, a student of the Ghana Institute of Journalism shared his thoughts on whether or not the online exams is a feasible idea
" I think that's the only better way to enable management to assess students, especially in this hard and unusual times.
Now, we can't mention this without the fact that the online exam has the potential to to be a challenge to some students. However, the last time I checked the school's policies for the online exam, I realised provisions shall be made to students who may have challenges regarding the online exam. Again, others are suggesting we write the exam after vacation. However, school and academic work must proceed [even in these hard times].This is not what we all wished for. Nature just punched us too hard in our faces and we're still finding solutions to get healed; worldwide."
Emefa Akorli, a student of the University of Cape Coast opined on the good and bad of the idea. She said, with the positive side, firstly, It is an innovative and expedient way of sustaining academics under this time of uncertainty. Also, Practically, it will enable the various institutions involved to accord to their academic calender as much as possible. Since failure to do so will affect them in so many ways. Including, admission of new applicants on time, continuity of other programmes like sandwich courses among others and finally, the emergence of this mode of assessing students will ensure that final students graduate in time with little or no delays. In order to bring to bear their experience, which the country is in dire need of. Now let's take into consideration the negativity of this whole idea, the online learning together with the exams disadvantaged students greatly, since one needs good network and data to access. And, as it stands, the complications these two poses are obvious and finally under this circumstance, the mode of exam adopted is rather a long eassy fashion and not the traditional way. And in this situation students need access to go reference material from the libraries to produce a good work, especially courses like history where little can beget on the Internet.
Adwoa Tuffuor, a student of the University of Ghana totally disagreed with the idea taking into consideration the poor network connectivity in various parts of the country. From student's cry, one burden that cut across was internet challenges.However, this is not an exhaustive list of opinions by students. The unprecedented lockdown has revealed how weak our education system is. Moving forward, it is also important to take into consideration how most marginalized students will be affected by moving education or writing of exams online.
The writer is Miriam Amankwah, a level 300 student of the Ghana Institute of Journalism