University students in Lebanon are enraged that they’re being forced to personally attend and partake in exams amid the persistent threat of coronavirus (COVID-19). They have taken to social media to express their outrage.
On Monday night, June 1st, امتحانات_الموت# (death_exams) became the top trending hashtag on Twitter in Lebanon.
Lebanese University (LU) students have come together under the protesting tag to bash their university’s decision to have them undergo exams in-person instead of online, amid the national health crisis.
While some of the students are calling the attendance of the usually crowded exam halls a straight-out suicide attempt, others say they don’t want to get physically ill after developing mental illness due to the prolonged lockdown period.
Furthermore, Saint Joseph University (USJ) students, who are similarly required to be present for their final exams, have joined forces with LU students on Twitter to voice their common demand; online final exams.
The Lebanese University Student Union had a say in the matter, presented in the following tweet:
“The expression ‘if you don’t like it, no one is forcing you to stay at the university; you can change [universities]’ is starting to circulate among the officials at #LebaneseUniversity, in response to the students’ objections to the #death_exams and their demands.”
The statement went on, “our response to this abhorrent method used in the university to deter any demanding movement is: We will not change universities, we want to change ‘the university.’ “
“-No social distancing is going to happen. -We are not money bills, we are actual humans. -Online exams should be exceptionally accepted this semester. -If the finals are not online, it is the most unfair thing ever!”
This is how one Twitter user summed up the shared concerns of his fellow anxious students, who hope to bring their respective universities’ administrations to change their decisions about the in-person final exams for the ongoing semester.
The same students believe that their universities are underprepared for holding such exams and that proper social distancing would be impossible with the number of students attending the campuses at once.
To increase their chances of being heard, they are also tagging the Lebanese Education and Higher Education Minister, Tarek Al-Majzoub, on Twitter, hoping that he would help them achieve their request to stay safe.
Final exams for LU and USJ are scheduled to start in the few days to come unless these virtual protests reap a satisfying resolution.
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