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Published weekly, the COVID-19 Impact on South Asian students highlights news drawn from various sources focusing on South Asian students who are studying abroad and the ones who aspire to study abroad during the times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This edition of the COVID-19 Impact on South Asian students covers news articles from October 19 – 27, 2020.

Stay Safe.


India

Opinion: As coronavirus cases spikes, long winter ahead of Indian students abroad

27th October 2020 | The Economic Times

Indian students in foreign universities are having a tough time coping with increased movement restrictions and lockdowns in some places due to COVID-19 spike in the USA, UK, Europe and Canada. Students are battling not just concerns around the virus, but also loneliness and a hugely diminished study experience. But worst affected are those who have graduated this year, struggling to find jobs before their visas expire when there are not many job openings anywhere as the pandemic has battered the global economy. Many students had travelled abroad in the past few months when cases had reduced, in the hopes that things would continue to recover, and classes would move offline. Those hopes stand dashed now, and they’re facing an increasingly isolated study environment. Countries like Ireland have imposed a lockdown, and classes which were earlier running in a hybrid model, are now entirely online. Parents back home are worried about their children’s wellbeing and safety. Many are trying to make their peace. This year, about 50% of students had deferred their admission.

Help from a foreign land for students unable to go abroad

23rd October 2020 | Bangalore Mirror

To help students who couldn’t go abroad to study in foreign universities, Bengaluru’s higher education institutes are offering an alternative – they’re hiring international faculty members to take online classes. These high-impact online courses have been designed to provide students with global exposure that they had sought when applying for universities abroad, and skills which will give them an edge over others. Some of these institutes have hired faculty members for INR 6,500(USD 88) per hour, for every class. The Indian Institute of Fashion and Animation (IIFA) college in the city has hired three international faculty members to conduct online classes for their students.


Exam Updates

Mumbai University’s IDOL exams go smoothly with one-hour time slots

27th October 2020 | The Times of India

Mumbai University’s Institute of Open and Distance Learning conducted final exams for Arts and Commerce students on October 26, 2020. The distance education provider segregated students in smaller groups to conduct the exam. A total of 4,202 or around 84% of students appeared for the exams online. In the morning session, the exam saw 3,049 students and afternoon session, 1,153. The exams could be taken on any smartphone with a camera, laptop or desktop computer. A four-hour time slot was given for the exam so that all students need not log in at the same time. Students could choose one-hour slots as per convenience. The exams went smoothly, university authorities said.

Results of the Mumbai University examinations announced online

26th October 2020 | Mumbai Live

The results of the recently conducted Mumbai University exams have been announced by the officials on October 23, 2020. As per reports, officials were planning to release the results of 20 examinations under the Mumbai University and the same are published on the University’s website http://www.mumresults.in/.

CAT 2020 Admit Card releasing on October 28

24th October 2020 | Aglasem News

IIM Indore will release the CAT 2020 exam admit card on Wednesday, October 28, 2020, at 5 pm. All candidates who have applied for the Common Admission Test will be able to download their hall tickets from iimcat.ac.in login link from the given time. Candidates can simply go to the official website on the given date and time, then click on the login link, enter their user id and password to log in and download their admit cards.

DU JAT 2020 scores announced on the official website

24th October 2020 | India

The Delhi University on October 24 announced DU Joint Admission Test (DU JAT) 2020 results on its official website du.ac.in. All those who appeared for the exam can visit the aforementioned website and check their results. The DU JAT 2020 exam was conducted on September 7.

CBSE, ICSE board exams 2021 likely to be postponed by 45-60 days

24th October 2020 | India

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE), are likely to postpone the upcoming board examinations, said media reports. As the schools across the country have been shut for more than seven months, the two national boards are reportedly considering postponing the examination by 45 – 60 days. However, a final decision would be taken only after the directives from the Education Ministry.


YouTube Discussions

How major in Education can nurture you

20th October 2020 | EducationUSA India

In this session, the experts discuss how a major in Education can support students. The experts have suggested steps that need to be taken to get admission, and also other necessary information to study in the US. This session helps students with clarity on both US Education, as well as on students’ career. Watch Video


Bangladesh

Inevitable session jam looms over public universities

24th October 2020 | Dhaka Tribune

The unparalleled disruption to the academic calendar due to the COVID-19 pandemic means an inevitable session jam is now looming over the public universities of Bangladesh, much to the concern of students across the country. Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) was among the first universities of the country to begin online classes and to have already prepared for online examinations to avoid a session jam. The Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST) in Sylhet is in the process of preparing online examinations and has signed an agreement with the Access to Information (a2i) program under the ICT Division. However, sources from other universities said they were content with just taking online classes and postponing exams until the institutions can be fully reopened. They also said most teachers and students do not want campuses to be reopened until a Covid-19 vaccine is available.

COVID-19 deepens the divide between Bangladesh’s rural and urban students

22nd October 2020 | DW.com

The South Asian country has registered more than 394,000 coronavirus cases and over 5,700 deaths to date. The March 26 nationwide lockdown brought everything in the country to a near standstill and forced 38.6 million students of all education levels out of school.Though the government eased lockdown measures after two months, education institutions are expected to remain closed until October 31. While government efforts to reach students seem to have been successful regarding urban areas, poor internet connections and a lack of digital devices continue to deny many rural students’ access to such programs. Universities have also started delivering lectures via online platforms like Zoom but there, too, lack of technical infrastructure has been a hurdle for some students. In a recent study, Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC), an NGO, found that 54% of Bangladesh’s rural households lacked internet access, while 59% did not have access to smartphones.

Bangladesh schools unlikely to reopen in November: Education Minister

21st October 2020 | Business Standard

Schools and other educational institutions in Bangladesh were unlikely to reopen in November as previously suggested due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The government had announced the closure of all schools and other educational institutions in the country on March 17 following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. The shutdown period has since been extended on several occasions, most recently until October 31.


Exam Updates

No annual exam for secondary school students, syllabus to be completed through assignments

21st October 2020 | Dhaka Tribune

The government has decided not to hold any annual examinations for secondary school students this year. Secondary level students will be assessed through assignments to identify their weaknesses so that teacher can take extra care in the next academic year. Besides, the Junior School Certificate (JSC) and Junior Dakhil Certificate (JDC) examinations will not be held this year. The National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB) has formulated a 30-day long concise syllabus which will be available at the NCTB website as well as the schools. The students from grade 6-9 will have to submit four assignments each week following that syllabus.

Dhaka University to hold admission tests in divisional cities

20th October 2020 | BD News 24

Dhaka University will hold admission tests in divisional cities and decided to alter the qualifying scores amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The university will set up exam centres in each divisional city to enrol first-year honours students. The schedule for admission tests hinges on the publication of HSC results. The education ministry has scrapped the HSC tests this year. The students will be evaluated based on their performances in the JSC and SSC exams on average. The university will be able to hold the tests in January if the HSC results are published in December. The university has also decided to halve the total marks to 100 this time: 20 marks based on the results of the SSC and HSC exams, 30 multiple choice questions and 50 marks on writing.


Nepal

Alternative teaching methods explored in Nepal in the response of COVID-19

21st October 2020 | Education Diary

The Government of Nepal has closed educational institutions indefinitely in an attempt to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Alternative teaching methods are the only option in this situation to continue students’ learning. How well a student learns using distance education depends on the facilitation of both parents and teachers. Therefore, providing skills to teachers on alternative pedagogies is of the utmost importance. Recently, a two-phase training on alternative teaching methods was completed, attended by 155 teachers, which guided them in how to deliver lessons through online mediums, as well as via radio and television. This was one of the several activities organized by UNESCO in collaboration with the Centre for Education and Human Resource Development in response to COVID-19.


Exam Updates

Grade 12 final exam to take place from November 24

22nd October 2020 | Khabarhub

National Examination Board (NEB) has rescheduled the final exam of Grade XII from November 24 postponed earlier due to coronavirus pandemic in the country. The exam was originally scheduled to begin from April 20. According to NEB, the regular, grade promotion and partial exams of all papers under the general category, Music, Fine Arts, Sanskrit and technical education will be conducted almost after eight months of the previous schedule. The Board has made the exam centre more flexible as the candidates can appear in the exam from the centre of their convenience. This exam will consist of 40 marks as the remaining portion will be adjusted based on Grade 11’s performance and the school’s internal evaluation.


Sri Lanka

Medical faculty intake to be increased by 371 students this year

27th October 2020 | Daily News

Although plans were afoot to enrol only 41,000 students into local universities this year, Education Minister Prof. G.L Peiris, said that an additional 371 students will be accommodated in state university medical faculties. The Government has taken the necessary measures to increase intake to the Faculty of Medical and Allied Sciences of the Rajarata University. The decision to increase enrolment into local universities reflects the National Policy Framework ‘Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour’ by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa which aims to increase opportunities for youth to pursue their higher education.


Exam Updates

All but special trains for A/L examinees not to stop at curfew areas

24th October 2020 | Adaderana

Taking into account the prevailing situation in the country, Sri Lanka Railways has decided that all but special trains for G.C.E. Advanced Level exam candidates will not stop at the railway stations in areas where curfew is in force. The trains especially arranged for G.C.E A/L examinees will make stops at the aforementioned railway stations. These trains are in operation from the October 11 to November 6.


 

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