Tribhuvan University continues exams amid protests by studentsAs the in-person exams of master’s and bachelor’s levels continue, students are worried about Covid-19.
The decision of the Tribhuvan University to continue in-person exams despite rising Covid-19 cases has drawn widespread condemnation and sparked protests at various exam centres including at the university’s Kirtipur campus.
On Tuesday, dozens of students staged a demonstration outside Padma Kanya Campus at Bagbazar. Soon after the demonstration began, police intervened and detained seven students.
According to Senior Superintendent Ashok Singh, chief of Kathmandu Metropolitan Police Range, they had to detain the protesters to prevent disruption of the exams.
“They were released after a few hours,” said Singh.
The university is currently holding exams of master’s and bachelor’s levels.
But there have been reports of the exam centres not following the health safety protocols. Students are concerned over their health and have been demanding alternative methods for exams and vaccines for students.
Some students have even posted videos of their exam centres packed with students.
A Twitter user posted a video of an exam hall saying: “I think after lockdown the meaning of social distancing has changed. According to the government this is social distancing..Wow....Disgusting: Promising to put 25 students in one room and is it 25 people? Our lives are at stake and TU is playing around with our lives.”
Mentioning different media personalities and the Covid-19 Crisis Management Centre, another Twitter user posted a video saying: “sir please help us we feel very helpless now. This is the situation in the exam hall where there is no social distance and many students are cramped up in a single room .Where is the safety that the government promised ? #CancelTUExams.”
On Monday, students had reached the Tribhuvan University’s Kirtipur campus demanding that the exams be either postponed or conducted using alternative methods.
The Ministry of Health and Population had last Friday asked the Covid-19 Crisis Management Centre and the Ministry of Education to immediately halt all examinations.
However, only the exams of class 12 were postponed.
According to Shiva Lal Bhusal, the university rector, most of the exams which see a large number of examinees are already over.
He claimed that the remaining exams have fewer examinees and can be conducted by following health safety protocols.
“If the government imposes a complete lockdown again, we have to stop in-person exams. If not, the exams will continue. After all, many students are already mentally prepared for the exams,” said Bhusal.
According to Bhusal, a team from the Covid-19 Crisis Management Centre and a separate Covid-19 response team from the Tribhuvan University have been inspecting the exam centres and suggesting colleges ways to manage students and enforce health protocols.
The Tribhuvan University, which has 1,124 affiliate and 61 constituent colleges, is the largest university in the country with over 400,000 regular students. The number of examinees, however, exceeds 500,000 as there are students sitting exams for back papers. The university runs 125 programmes in the bachelor’s and master’s levels.