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“Take it next year!” Cold response to student about Covid-19 affected exams

Neill Fronde

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FILE PHOTO: A student asking about Covid-19 affecting admission exams gets a cold response.

Thai Twitter is blowing up today with outrage at the callous response of the Council of University Presidents of Thailand when a student asked about missing college admission exams due to Covid-19. Screenshots of a Facebook Messenger conversation went viral when they were posted on Thursday night.

In the conversation, a concerned student asked how about if she were to become infected with Covid-19 what the procedure would be if she was unable to take the college admission exam which is administered on certain set dates. The student was likely expecting that, in the middle of a two-year-long pandemic, universities would have contingency plans in place for the likely event that standard exam schedules were upended by Covid-19, either with lockdowns, or school closures, or students or even teachers or test administrators being diagnosed with the virus.

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Instead, the Facebook Messenger conversation screenshot showed that a council officer told the high school student that if she got Covid-19 and was unable to take the admissions test on the set date, she should instead take it next year or apply for another major that doesn’t require the admission test being given that day.

The response lacking any empathy or even any effective plan the deal with a likely scenario during a pandemic sparked a wave of outrage online. The subject became a trending topic on Twitter with hundreds of thousands of people tweeting in anger.

After the original screenshot went viral, more screenshots from the same conversation were released that showed that the council really did not have any policy in place to handle a situation where an admission exam was unable to go forward by some circumstances beyond the applicant’s control involving Covid-19.

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Students online expressed frustration and disappointment at the council’s handling of the question, the unsympathetic response, the lack of planning in academia, and what appeared to be a completely indifferent stance by the officer who helped the worried student.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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    Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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