Published: 29th June 2020
Dear DU VC, with online examinations, you're making a mockery of our mental health: Student says in an Instagram video
Ima M R, a final year Delhi University student who is diagnosed with depression says that the online examination is affecting the students' mental health negatively
Had everything gone well, Ima M R would have already completed her BSc degree from the University of Delhi. She was all set to write her final semester examination in 2019. However, a little before that, Ima was diagnosed with severe depressive disorder, owing to which she had to take a break and instead, decided to write her examination in 2020.
However, no one was prepared for the unexpected. The pandemic hit the country real bad, causing a nationwide lockdown. All the educational institutions were shut down and a few of them, including the Delhi University, had decided to go ahead with online examinations. Even though a lot of students and teachers raised their voices against this, the university was firm with its decision of conducting the exams online.
While a lot of them spoke about the digital divide and discriminatory attitude of this mode of examinations, Ima tells us that this has a negative impact on the students' mental health too. A few days ago, she took it to Instagram to post a video, where she spoke about the same. In the video message addressed to the university's Vice-Chancellor Yogesh Tyagi, she can be heard saying, "Sir, do you want us to write our open-book online examination on a website that often crashes? You're escalating my anxiety [sic]." There have been complaints about the website crashing during the examination registration. "Sir, you're mocking the underprivileged. There are already enough things that make us mentally vulnerable. We can't take anymore," she is heard saying.
Ima tells us that she had issues with the internet connection while attempting her internal examinations online. "The internet connection gave up midway and I was stressed. But thankfully, my department was handling it and I could speak to my teacher, who allowed me some extra time," she says. "However, that won't be the case here," she adds.
This student did receive a lot of overwhelming responses for her video. "A lot of people reached out to me, but nothing solid came out of it. I thought putting it all out in a public platform will help me feel better, but it didn't," she says. "My family knows that I have issues, so it isn't that difficult for me. However, this isn't the case for a lot of students who are in their homes and are suffering in silence. The university had in fact conducted webinars to promote better mental health in the beginning. But now, it all seems like a farce," she adds.