Over the past two weeks a lot took place in UTM. For the first time ever in most of our lives we have experienced a pandemic and also of course… online exams. In this article I’m going to focus on the implementation of UTM online classes as well as it’s contribution to society.
Let’s first revisit the events real quick.
On March 18th UTM halted face to face classes in conjunction with the MCO issued, on the same day, by the Government of Malaysia. This was done to help curb the further growth of positive cases in the country through social distancing.
For the next few days all local students (85% of all students) living inside campus were allowed to travel back home. Most international students didn’t travel due to travel restrictions imposed by their home countries.
The situation worsened with positive cases doubling every 3 days (it’s at 3000 now!) and we were forced to resort to self-isolation in our dorms or apartments. The only thing on my mind was… What’s gonna happen to my degree?
UTM Online exam paradox
Some universities such as IIUM have given a 10 week break to all it’s students. UTM was quick to issue dynamic statement, that online classes and tests will be commencing from 1st of April, despite all the uncertainty in the government’s plan of action.
Now while some of us were alright with it, the others… not so much.
Now are online classes really bad?
A big advantage online classes have over physical ones is Flexible Learning:
Think about it… You never have to miss a class again. As for those of us students that live outside without vehicles… we also have less transport expense.
Now the biggest disadvantage is obviously Personal Discipline:
It’s harder to do assignments for online classes than it is to do for physical ones. The motivation we need is higher.
Also who’s to say we won’t copy during tests. This puts others at an automatic disadvantage.
So far UTM doesn’t seem to be reconsidering it’s decision on online classes. This is a similar event to that of the KoQ crisis where a petition was signed by thousands of UTMians.
Ofcourse there is the 100 RM and free food we are entitled to by the university as well.
Contributions to society
While juggling with Student Affairs UTM has also made some significant contributions to fighting COVID-19.
To state a few would be:
The wastewater scientists from Metabolic Engineering and Molecular Biology (MEMO-Bio) and Nest-Bio Venture Laboratory at Malaysia-Japan International Institute of Technology (MJIIT) and Virus Research Laboratory, Faculty of Science are signing up to help screening for COVID-19 in wastewater
The UTM Shield team along with other selfless individual contributors have taken steps to provide the frontliners with over 2300 units of Face Shields, Sanitizers, Intubation Boxes at Hospitals within Johor.
Now that we have seen what UTM has done not only for us but to the society it’s about time we thought about what we have done?
The historic words of JFK summarises this article in the best way:
“Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country”
Now what does UTM want from us? … as always they made an infographic to explain just this:
International? Local? We are all in this together. I try to be an optimist and from what I’ve seen. Most of us have started raising awareness about COVID-19 and how to stay productive during quarantine. Others are taking part in challenges ranging from online courses to physical fitness.
This is my personal opinion and in no way represents UTM or it’s affiliations.
Co-Authors: Farah Hidayah and Niaz Ahmad
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