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HomeNationCOVID trap leaves none; medical students frown over offline exams

COVID trap leaves none; medical students frown over offline exams

After much delay, the MUHS has announced the offline exams for the first, second, and third year of MBBS students.

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Highlight: On Thursday, the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS) has announced the final dates for the 2020 winter examinations for the first, second, and third-year undergraduate health science courses. The exam will now begin on April 19 and continue till May 12.

After much delay, the MUHS has announced the offline exams for the first, second, and third year of MBBS students. According to the government circular, the examination will begin on April 19 and continue till May 12. 

The exams for the first, second and third year were supposed to take place in December 2020 but due to the prevailing COVID situation, the authority had postponed to February and then again to March, and now finally the MUHS has declared new dates. 

However, rising COVID-19 cases across Maharashtra has left the students worried about the risks of appearing for physical exams in the current scenario, the students have urged the government to take the exam online.

Afternoon Voice spoke to several MBBS students from across the state about their issues and demands; here is what they have to say.

“Risking our and other’s lives for mere examinations is not justified. If they could postpone the exams when the numbers were comparatively much lower as of today, why not now?”

– 3rd-year, MBBS student of Dr Vasantrao Pawar Medical College, Nashik

“Since January, the MUHS has been postponing the date of the exams of 2nd and 3rd-year MBBS, stating COVID to be the reason, (cases were far less and manageable earlier). According to the circular, the exam will begin on 19th April. At this moment, the cases are skyrocketing, students are testing positive. Despite repeated pleas and requests from students, MUHS continues to be adamant about not considering a postponement this month. Is it fair on their part to neglect the pleas of affected students with so many disregards?”

– 2nd-year MBBS student of BJMC, Pune

“The authorities are risking the lives of students and their families. Students all over the country would need to travel back to their hostel and stay for around a month for offline exams. Though MUHS claims to carry out exams with all safety precautions what about the safety of students in the overcrowded hostels? The government needs to understand the plight of medical students especially those who are currently fighting for their lives in hospitals due to COVID infection and at the same time dreading the upcoming examination.”

– 2nd-year MBBS student of Terna Medical College, Navi Mumbai

“The condition of the COVID pandemic is worsening day-by-day especially in our state of Maharashtra. Young adults of our age are falling prey to the virus and we could do nothing but take precautions. And in such a scenario, MUHS has declared its offline final exams of the 2nd and 3rd-year students, which they are not ready to postpone or find a solution for despite the infectivity reaching its peak. Several students living in the hostels and even at their homes are testing positive every day. We feel helpless right now.”

3rd-year MBBS student of Sion Medical College, Mumbai

“My whole family has been tested positive in this second wave. At this very moment, I am a COVID positive patient who is fighting against this virus physically and mentally. I have been gone through a lot of miserable situations. The government should understand the circumstances through which students are going. Can’t even imagine about the breakdowns I had to suffer because of this.”

2nd-year MBBS student of Dr VMGMC, Solapur

“Our final offline exams for the 2nd and 3rd-year were supposed to take place in December 2020 but due to the prevailing COVID condition, it was postponed to February and then to March and now April due to the same reasons. But now when the COVID cases are rising to an extent like never before, MUHS expects us to appear for offline exams in 10 days. We live in hostels and most of our colleagues have tested positive and are hospitalised, most of us have severe symptoms but are afraid to get tested due to the fear of losing an academic year if tested positive and this can prove very harmful. Despite all this, MUHS is so stubborn and in any way wants us to give offline exams without considering what the students are going through physically and mentally.

– 2nd-year MBBS student of GMC, Gondia

“Majority of the Medical students have received only one dose of vaccine. The number of students testing positive is increasing day by day. The University postponed the exams when the situation was better as compared to now. They are forcing us to give exams. The University needs to reconsider its decision. If the medical staff and people at power wouldn’t understand the situation, then who will?”

– 3rd-year MBBS student of Grant Medical College, Mumbai

“We have to eat (without mask) in the same room full of the crowd who have COVID-19 symptoms and or are already tested positive. My roommate has tested positive but I have nowhere to go because I can’t risk my parent’s life. We are sitting hours and hours in the library where many students can be heard coughing. Second-year and third minor examinations are not examinations that will decide our branch or degree it’s just an up-gradation exam which makes it unworthy of risking our life. We expect taking examinations online if possible because we were taught for the past 11 months online.”

– 2nd-year MBBS student of Indira Gandhi Government Medical College, Nagpur

“We as students are not fearing exams. But, exams during COVID that too when cases are so steeply rising in which many young budding medical students are falling prey just in the scenario of offline exams is not appreciable at all. Many of us are fearing to get infected with the virus. Already the curriculum is lengthy to which another 6 months get added just because being COVID positive is not sensible. Also, this is not the deciding exam, so exams can be held later when after the situation gets better in the coming days; till then the authority can start the syllabus of next semester.”

– 3rd-year MBBS student from Solapur 

As per the data by the data of Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, more than 40,000 students of government and private colleges affiliated to appear for UG, PG, CCMP and MBBS courses.

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