Distress, uncertainty, desperation, fatigue.
All these could be read on the faces of a large group of students from NITT who were crowded anxiously at the offices of the Department of Student Placement and Welfare (DSPW) to learn their fate.
This came after the students received letters that they had failed their exams in the previous semester and will therefore have to repeat a whole semester.
In letters given to the students, the NITT management stated that students are given 10 days to pay P4600, either from their own pockets or from their sponsor, DSPW, or stand a chance to lose their place at the school.
Students’ cases differed, with some failing one part of the assessment and others missing exams due to ill health. There are also some who failed 2 parts of the assessment, but were all given the same letter.
In an interview with The Sunday Standard, Ananth Ram, one of the Directors at NITT, said it is true that letters were issued out to the students because they had failed parts of the semesters while others had failed the whole semester.
“Students are allowed to come to school while they wait for sponsorship, and they have been given until early August,” Ram explained.
One student said the school management keeps making decisions without consulting them.
“This new system was never communicated to us,” he said. “We do not understand why we are made to repeat a whole semester when we have passed some of the assessment.”
The students further complained that whenever they raise their complaints with management, they are told that its school policy and procedure and that they are free to leave the school if they so wish.
They expressed concern about government funds that will be wasted due to this new system and pointed out that NITT is the only university with this type of policy.
They accused the school of wanting “to suck money out of the sponsors”.
Another issue that has upset the students is that in a semester, they go through 4 assessments, including an exam they write online, but in their exam transcripts, only 3 assessments appear.
The students say they also fail to understand how their whole semester mark is calculated. Additionally, they criticize the online exam they write.
Another student, who also did not want to be named, said when they log on to start writing the online exam, the system writes end of exam and then results appear from nowhere before they have even attempted to answer a single question.
“We wonder if there is some kind of a ghost that writes the exam for us,” he said, adding that, at times, one finds themselves being given an exam of a totally different programme of study.
Ram pointed out that the exam is written internationally in all NITT institutions, and that they would, however, look into the allegations by students concerning the online exam.
Quizzed why they do not raise their issues with the Student Representative body, the students said the student body was useless and pretentious, accusing it of being favoured and used by the school management.