The Students’ Federation of India came out with a press release asking for fee waivers for Delhi University Colleges. Along with release of grants, they also demanded for special fee waiver for students from Socially and Economic Backward Sections.
The pandemic has impacted each sector in various ways. The education sector has been hit hard by the virus and has had to adjust to the changing needs of the time. Most colleges across the country have shifted their mode of operation online – while others have still not begun classes. Many universities like Delhi University are still asking for the same fees they would ask for in an online semester. This has met with a lot of backlash from students since college is not just about teacher-student interaction but also other facilities including the library, peer networks, etc. which online classes will be unable to provide. This has led to a lot of pressure on colleges from student organizations to reduce the fees.
The Students’ Federation of India Delhi University had come out with a press release on 19th September articulating the concerns of the students of Delhi University with regards to the reduction of fees, opposing the persistence of the university in demanding the same. Citing reasons of financial constraints on students’ families, SFI has written that this insistence on payment of the full fees will just add to the exclusive nature of online classes themselves.
“The unjust extraction of fees from the students when the whole country is going through a pandemic and an economic crisis is not only exclusionary, but also unsympathetic to the student community, and the university has made no efforts to inquire into the conditions faced by the students. All the resources starting from the internet connection and electronic devices that are currently being used by the students are functioning through personal expenses and not provided by any of the college administrations. Several fee components like ICT, ID cards, canteen, labs, library, freshers, department computer, sports, etc will also not be utilized for the foreseeable future. In such a situation, it is a matter of great concern that the colleges are demanding such exorbitant fees without any concessions.”says Sooraj Elamon, State Committee Member, SFI
The SFI DU Wing has put forth the following demands before the University Authorities:
- Immediate postponement of deadlines for fee remittance, at least until campuses reopen.
- All fees except tuition fees should be reduced. A reduction in tuition fees is also expected.
- Options to pay fees in installments must be introduced
- Special Fee Waivers must be introduced for students from Socially and Economically Backward Sections
- Immediate release of grants and scholarships for students. The University should also reach out to students who are unable to meet the expenses of data for online classes
Many students have also expressed their concern regarding the same :
“Considering the extreme financial losses people have suffered due to the pandemic, I think Delhi University must reduce the fees for their academic session so that students could pursue their further education without these hurdles.”says Hridika Rao, a student at Lady Shri Ram College
It’s imperative that the University at least responds to the concerns of students, and gives them some sort of assurance with regards to the fees in these uncertain times.
Feature Image Credits: DU Beat Archives