In a move that comes as a shock to thousands of DU hopefuls and home-stuck hostellers homesick for campus, the UGC has scrapped off the academic session for 2020-21. DU Beat brings to you the implications of this historic sessional gap in the wake of a national pandemic.
A sudden order, late in the evening of 5th October, 2020, might well have dashed the hopes of thousands of students eagerly awaiting the cut-off for the new academic session. That’s right: the UGC has cancelled college classes for thefollowing academic session. The sheer suddenness of the move has drawn a lot of scrutiny, from unions, parents and faculty alike, as well as a lot of negative publicity for the varsity.
A confused uproar is doing its way around the academic circles: What does the future hold for higher education in the country? What of the 2nd and 3rd year students whose semesters were cut mid-way? And what, DU Beat questions, of the piteous societies stranded in the midst of this move reflective of red tapism and upsetting unpredictability of an unconcerned administration? Answers abound in the following paragraphs.
The COVID-19 pandemic shook the nation and rattled the education sector in mid-March. While the mass hysteria has nearly died down, the crushing weight on our institutions is only beginning to show. The far-reaching negative impacts on education in the country are already manifest in the relegation of studies to a poorly organized e-sphere. While students grapple with the digital divide, uncertainty of examinations and debilitation of the traditional student-teacher interaction, this decision halts the very hopes of some: a whole year of education laid waste. The fears of losing synch with foreign educational institutions for some aspirants have come true. Others had dreamed of bagging their dream jobs as quickly as possible to support their families, but are now considering dropping out rather than facing a blank futility of an year.
“The unpreparedness for the OBE in the past few months made us question if reducing education, in absence of resources, to a fiasco had any merits. Ours is an attempt to correct our previous mistake: we’ll start the session only in times of normalcy now.”
The move indeed reflects empathy towards the students victimized by raging digital chasm. Putting off an year in the face of such unpredictability serves to retain equitability of education. It’d not be entirely correct to denounce the decision. But the grenade like manner in which was dropped requires some scrutiny. We reached out to students directly affected by the order.
“Our semester was mid-way. Cancelling the year in one sudden order without clear instructions on how and when the education would resume reflects administrative apathy. The vagueness and glaring irresponsibility is becoming a major cause of stress to the student body.”Anon, MH
Yet others were jarred by the economic and social implications of the order:
“For me, passing my final year was a ticket to improving the economic standing of my family. The social stigma of supposedly ‘dropping out is going to be too great too bear. Returning for my final year considering our situation isn’t possible. Ill probably drop out.”Anon, KMC
We certainly hope that the confusion is cleared soon. In the meantime we bid adieu to our beloved varsity for a whole year.
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