Amidst the (Covid19) pandemic of a century that has effectively put academics on the backburner and caused mental health issues of equally epidemic proportion in millions of young people, hundreds of students enrolled in diploma courses under Board of Technical Education (BTE) Delhi of the Directorate of Training and Technical Education in some 20 polytechnic institutes are having a harrowing time. The students, who had a backlog to clear and were to appear in May-June even semester examination are awaiting their fate even as the result of regular students has been declared.
With age ceiling of 21 years for passing out the diploma course, a section of these students could well go out of system without getting diplomas and their 4-5 years of their youth that they spent on their course will be deleted from their life, if a remedy is not provided.
The account of some of these students about a callous ‘technical education system’ is really a matter of shame for the Delhi government given the much publicized education reforms that the ruling party (AAP) of Delhi claims and uses to its politicking advantage and is even selling it to other parts in elections claiming it has fixed education system in Delhi.
On July 5, 2021, BTE, Delhi following the exams cancellation trend due to catastrophic second wave of Covid and government directive issued a notice cancelling the even semester examination. A promotion formula was also included and improvement examination if student wished, also included. The notification covered back/compartment category as well.
According to such a student who doesn’t wish to be named, when CBSE results were given much attention and even the Supreme Court ensured it is declared in such a manner that students don’t lose an academic year and higher studies domestically or overseas. “It is then, our group started calling our teachers and institute. We were met with cold response or no response at all. We wanted to understand the formula of evaluation, but nobody helped. Our whatsapp group was disbanded. When we went to institute or send some relative, the guards turned us back as if we never belonged to this alma mater. With no choice left, we approached BTE in Pitampura. Again, no certain answer.”
Some of the students, who were hoping for a lateral entry admission in BTech courses in neighboring Haryana, couldn’t apply as Haryana insisted on completed diplomas. “It was not only my dream, but our family dream that got this setback. After feeling sure that under the evaluation criteria, I have cleared my back, I had set my eyes on an engineering college in my hometown in Haryana and my father was also very excited, but it won’t happen now. The journey of my education has entered a dark tunnel. I wonder, what on earth made them delay our result, when no paper was to be marked. Just a few calculations were to be made,” says a dejected student.
When this publication approached BTE through emails, the exam body chose not reply. While going through the tales of these students, it also emerged that re-evaluation of answer paper as would appear for any examination is not permitted for these diploma courses under the rules. Some of these students felt that had it been so, they would have previously cleared back papers by reevaluation. “If school boards can schedule improvement exams with a view to save academic year of students, why can’t BTE?” the students add.
In our country there is much passionate discussions on making skilling aspiring and attracting youth towards skills education, but if in the national capital, this is the efficiency and mindset of authorities is like that, then slogans like Make in India, are surely misnomers. Delhi government need to sit up and take notice and help its anxious students in technical education.