KARACHI: A public university in Karachi, Dow University of Health sciences has announced to hold on-campus exams and asked its students to sign an affidavit which states that the university will not be held accountable if someone contracts the coronavirus.
Students have expressed resentment after the university administration directed them to submit the affidavit by Friday (Nov 20), otherwise they would not be issued admit cards, hence they will not be eligible to sit in the exams as well.
More than 50 people including students and some faculty members have reportedly been tested positive for COVID-19 at the university. While, the university is accepting coronavirus reports as older as of last month, October.
Here’s What Students Say:
A student, on condition of anonymity, said that the university was making them submit old COVID reports (tests conducted in October) and in some campuses, an affidavit, which stated that the university would not be responsible if someone got infected in the process.
“They’ve called about 400 students on the same day and same time for the exams which are starting from 24th November.
“We’ve been asked to risk our, our families’ as well as countless other people’s lives to give on-campus exams when there are better and less risky alternatives (for e.g. online exams) and it is unfair to us,” he said.
Another student said that it was disappointing and non-empathetic for a university specially a medical university to risk the lives of students just so they could get done with their duty.
One student claimed that the students were being threatened by the administration that if they did not submit the affidavit by Friday (which states that the university will not be accountable for any student who contracts the virus) then they would not be issued their admit Cards.
“Moreover, when inquired about what will be done if a student is tested positive the university never gave a policy and said “we are working on it”,” he said.
Another student, on condition of anonymity, said: “We have reached to a place where Dow administration is forcing students to take physical exams with or without COVID. The university administration is showing no proper social distancing or implementation of SOPs as they force students for physical classes and exams.”
One student said, “We don’t want to submit the affidavit with such unjust points which are favouring only the university and putting the health of many students and their families at stake. The faculty should either delay the exams or take them online, either way assuring the safety of the students.”
What do faculty members say?
The faculty members and relevant authorities have shown no empathy or cooperation in this regard. In fact, the students who went to the administration were reprimanded for raising the problematic situation. We also filed a complaint on the Pakistan Citizen’s Portal which was forwarded to the vice chancellor but still there is no response.