Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) in a letter to the acting Vice-Chancellor appealed for the postponement of the May-June exams session and extension of job privileges to ad-hoc teachers. DUTA bemoaned the loss of some precious colleagues in the last 15 days and how the fear of conditions worsening in May is rife amongst the masses and are causing heavy distress within the nation.
In a letter to the acting Vice-Chancellor, Prof. P. C. Joshi, DUTA drew the notice of the varsity administration to the soaring cases of COVID-19 following the second wave of the virus which has significantly hit the country and especially, the national capital. The teachers’ body presented a wide range of appeals to help ease the current situation for the students and teachers including paid medical leave, compensation for the deceased and postponement of exams. India recorded 3,49,391 new Covid-19 cases and 2,767 deaths in the last 24 hours.
The second wave of the pandemic has hit all sections very badly and we have lost a number of teaching and non-teaching staff in the last fifteen days. Students and their families are undergoing a similar crisis. It is feared that the crisis is going to deepen and peak in May. In this hour of distress and health crisis, we appeal to the University to take certain immediate measures which are needed to bring some relief.
– remarked DUTA in its letter to the acting Vice-Chancellor
With respect to ad-hoc teachers, DUTA requested the administration to institute special provisions for providing special leave and compensation provisions even for ad-hoc teachers and contractual non-teaching staff as well. Similarly, an extension of paid medical leave for the period of illness of self and dependent family members to ad-hoc teachers was also recommended by DUTA. The Teachers’ Welfare Fund (TWF) receives funds from the examination remuneration of all teachers. Additionally, DUTA suggested the immediate extension of provisions of the TWF fund to ad-hoc teachers as well. For the teachers who had unfortunately lost their lives in the deadly pandemic, DUTA asked for compensation worth 2.5 crore rupees.
Exploring the issue of examinations of the May-June season, DUTA requested the extension of deadlines of Internal Assessments (IA) and postponement of the Open Book Exams. The OBEs for final semester students (Semester VI) are slated to begin on 15 May. The status of Semester IV exams ‘will be decided in due course of time after the assessment of the prevailing COVID-19 situations. Additionally, DUTA requested the varsity to explore ways of strengthening facilities at the WUS Health Centres and V.P. Chest Institute. They suggested the University maintain a panel of doctors who can be consulted online and also start a centralised helpline service for those in distress.
Featured Image Credits: Abha Dev Habib