University of Engineering and Technology (UET) has been coercing students to appear in on-campus semester exams without any precautionary measures amid the Coronavirus outbreak.
What makes this development more appalling is the fact that UET’s management is using intimidating tactics to force the students into signing a document which states that the university’s administration shall not be held responsible for any harm rendered to the students’ health.
Human rights activist, Ammar Ali Jan, originally raised this issue on Twitter and urged leading journalists to take up the matter as well to save precious lives.
UET is forcing students to take exams on campus without social distancing & has forced them to sign document saying admin will not be liable for students health. I request journalists to take up this issue & save precious lives of students. #StudentsLivesMatter #SayNoToCampusExam
— Ammar Ali Jan (@ammaralijan) August 4, 2020
Students have expressed apprehensions over the university’s decision as they fear that appearing in on-campus exams without any precautionary measures can put their lives and their families in danger.
Some students have urged UET to follow in the footsteps of other universities and conduct online exams on the same pattern as online classes during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Uet administration should not be allowed to put the lives of the students at stake for semester exams. Instead they should come up with a more plausible plan in which inputs of all the stakeholders taken into account.#SayNoToCampusExam#StudentsLivesMatter https://t.co/W0cjEKoq3g
— SayNoToCampusExams (@Studentmatters1) August 4, 2020
On 9 July, the Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training, Shafqat Mahmood, had announced the reopening of all educational institutes in Pakistan under strict SOPs from 15 September. In this regard, all provinces were tasked to formulate their SOPs to ensure the smooth reopening of schools.
Earlier today, School Education Department (SED) Punjab finalized and issued the COVID-19 SOPs for reopening schools across the province to ensure the safety of both students and staff members.
Under the SOPs, only 20 students will be permitted to sit in one classroom while only 2 students will be allowed to share a desk along with checking the body temperature of everyone before allowing them to enter the school premises, ensuring the availability of hand sanitizers, and prohibition of all sorts of functions, ceremonies, and breaks.
UET’s administration ought to follow SED Punjab if it deems on-campus semester exams as absolutely necessary to promote students to next semester and formulate strict COVID-19 SOPs to appease the panicked students.