From Our Special Correspondent
Daijiworld Media Network
Bengaluru, May 17: The end of the current academic year at CHRIST (Deemed to be University) was a sombre occasion in the backdrop of an alarming surge in the second wave of Covid pandemic in the country and vice-chancellor Fr (Dr) Abraham, in his customary address to the staff on Monday, struck a note of caution and hope to come out stronger while focussing on the future.
Warmly appreciating the efforts of the staff and faculty in rising to the occasion of the ‘new normal’ caused by the Covid pandemic in academic institutions, CHRIST University had to transition its academic activities and services online to become future-ready with the new format of the assessment and compulsory viva voce for each student without any glitches.
Fr Abraham (file photo)
"While we finish the senior year’s end semester examinations from May 20 to 30, let us also look to adopting this method for the junior classes commencing from June 16,’’ he said thanking the staff and faculty for their remarkable creativity and outstanding efforts.
In the increasing speculation on how far the online exam results are valid with student’s learning, the viva component will lend accountability and authenticity to their scores, he said.
The tightening restrictions and lockdowns in the wake of the second wave of Covid-19, have made it imperative to strictly follow the guidelines and protocols including the compulsory wearing of marks and maintaining physical distancing while not moving out except in urgent circumstances, Fr Abraham said: "Our safety is important and safety of others is also in our hand and we should respect this social contract.’’
"The mood is one of gloom and doom. Many people are mourning the loss of their loved ones and others are facing the disease themselves. With oxygen and medicines in short supply, the situation is one of absolute panic and helplessness. But the pandemic has given people to do extraordinary work to help people in distress. While it is difficult to be entirely optimistic and trust humanity, we must believe this too shall pass,’’ he said.
The vice-chancellor exhorted everybody to get themselves vaccinated, take both doses and be safe. As the pandemic continues to put a strain on all, honest conversations about mental health and trauma and alienation must happen, he said promising that CHRIST University will provide necessary counselling and guidance. "I would like to remind everyone that no one has to suffer in silence and that no one should suffer alone. Please reach out for help within your own network, and of course make use of the services that CHRIST has put in place to support students, faculty and staff,’’ he said.
In the Covid era, words starting with the letter C coming into active vocabulary, Fr Abraham said it is necessary, to begin with, the word starting with the letter H for Hope. "Hope can move mountains and hope can restore our faith in humanity. We are all fighting our own battles. None bigger or smaller than the other. Hope may not be a strategy, but when hope guides our actions, people come together to help each other: We rebuild, we come back stronger,’’ he said.
The vice-chancellor advised the CHRIST staff and faculty to keep reinventing. Just as a pause is as important in music as the note, he said: "Life has paused for us to rejuvenate ourselves so that the melody of life that will follow becomes sweeter.’’
"Our struggle ends when gratitude begins, let’s dwell on our blessings more, let’s carefully cherish life, relationships and memories. Let us stay strong and positive and learn not to take anything for granted. We will get through this together,’’ he added.