NIT Rourkela in COVID-19: Striving to be better individuals?

NIT Rourkela in COVID-19: Striving to be better individuals?

Abel Mathew | Aug 17, 2020

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If we had to give an example of ‘Act of God’, I am sure the majority of us would cite our present life scenario. From huge plans for the farewell season and upcoming events to spending the entire day staring at screens of diverse sizes, our lifestyle has changed beyond imagination in the past four months. From finishing the semester via grade extrapolation to the inaugural of the new Lecture Hall Complex to online registration of autumn semester, it surely is a journey that’ll be remembered for ages. 

Today I want to talk about a specific thing: Inclusivity and Diversity during COVID-19. In this high-speed shift in our lifestyle, it calls for us to be more considerate. 

Diversity is being invited to the party, inclusivity is being called to dance.

We have individuals who are using these tech-based solutions for the first time, then there will be some of us who will have experience with these but have a poor network connection in our present area of residence. With all of us being in a stressed environment with no clear idea of when our institute will open and how the semester will be, it calls for us to be better and matured individuals.

What could have been better?

Grading for Practicals for Spring 2019-20

If we look at the circular that was published regarding the above-mentioned topic, it stated that the grades would be calculated on the basis of classes that were done in the first few months of the semester and in case no additional viva/test was conducted during usual semester evaluation, then the usual expected happened; some of our Professors said that there’ll be viva and those scores would be used for our grading. Now you may question, isn’t that unfair as the circular stated something else. Let us understand this quantitatively:

  • Majority of the students do not have practical-records with them at home. So studying all experiments for viva is a concern for them.

  • Weekly evaluation is what our NITR curriculum states and a wide chunk of us(including me to some extent), never take it seriously and request our Professor, “Sir aaj nai(not today), next class viva”. With this, our Professors do not have our daily scores with them and are left with no way to grade us.

  • One may question, can’t NITR just give us grades directly without any viva even if they do not have my weekly evaluation score as this is a pandemic. The situation is a bit tricky here, as an engineer, after these; none of us would like to be considered as less credible because we got our degree without examination. There has to be some metric so as to keep at par with other batches that graduated before the pandemic. 

Now that we know the situation on both ends, understanding that the reason a lot of us had to give last-minute viva was our procrastination attitude which forced us to ignore regular evaluation.

Online Classes

Within the first day of the online semester, there were multiple concerns: students not being able to log in, lack of network, inability to ask doubts in online classes, and many more. An online class is difficult, both for us students and even more for the teachers. It is time we try our best to make it comfortable for all.

  • Not all of us have high-speed access with sufficient bandwidth to stream the entire day’s classes. Students with a lack of such access should not be left behind. NIT Rourkela is an institute for all, not just for students with good internet

  • A lot of our professors are not tech-savvy and are trying their best to make the online classes as good as possible to the best of their knowledge. It is time we understand it and help them if they run into trouble. Kicking out Profs from call to other pranks may seem cool, but is definitely not right. The institute has every right to punish for that, but just because the Profs let it go, does not mean we take advantage of it.

As we all are trying to be as inclusive as possible in these times of crisis, here’s what I have to say as I conclude. Do not take advantage of trust. If you have access to good internet but are still missing class by giving excuses for network issues, not cool. If a student who has legitimate issues in attending classes misses out on knowledge because the alternative provision was not done, not cool. 

 

Do not take advantage of trust else you’ll regret it.


Together, let us work to become better individuals, well-equipped graduates in this time of crisis.
Stay Safe!

Cover Image Credits: Unsplash

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