As Delhi University shuts offline classes, students insist on reopening
New Delhi: Amid rising Covid-19 cases, universities are going back to emphasising on online mode of classes. As per the latest notification by the University of Delhi on Wednesday, all offline activities at DU have been suspended till April 13, while reopening instructions will be issued by varsity only after a thorough review of the prevailing situation.
Moreover, the order also addresses students who are currently put-up at hostels and asks them to avoid physical presence for their academic work unless "very essential". In addition to this, the guidelines also say that all essential academic and administrative work of the varsity will continue with strict adherence to COVID-19 guidelines.
However, the decision has irked a lot of students who said that their demand for reopening the campus still remains. Speaking to Millennium Post scholar and Students Federation of India (SFI) president Sumit Kataria said the university should be opened with the proper precautionary measures. "When elections are going on, weddings are happening, why can't they open universities? Schools were also functioning but they cannot open universities," he said.
Meanwhile, students at Indian Institute of Mass Communication are continuing their protest on campus to conduct offline practical classes and adjust the 50 per cent fee charged in the first semester with the fee of the second semester.
The students also warned of dire consequences if the administrations do not do something about it. Students in universities like Jawaharlal Nehru University and Jamia Millia Islamia have also been demanding reopening of their campus. Students at JMI have said that the administration had on March 30 called an EC meeting but then cancelled it.
"We were told that the meeting has been postponed and were hinted that nothing is going to open before July. Our only demand is to open libraries and reading rooms," All India Students Association member and student of the university Arbab Ali said.
At JNU, while the administration had opened the campus in a phased manner, after a surge in cases, night curfew has been imposed in dhabas and libraries. Both dhabas and libraries will get shut at 9 p.m.
Saket Moon, vice-president of JNUSU said, "Students are facing a lot of loss due to online education. But as the cases are increasing, we have repeatedly suggested to the administration ways with which it can tackle Covid and also conduct offline classes. Newly joined students just had online classes and have no idea how the normal classes work due to which they are having a hard time."