DUB News

DU Reopens Colleges: Observes a Lukewarm Response

As DU opens its colleges to final year science students for practical work, many outstation students hesitate to return to college. The first day was also met with a lukewarm response with a relatively small proportion of students turning up for the offline mode. Read to find out more.

On the 15th of September, Delhi University put into effect its decision of phased re-opening of colleges following Covid-19 protocols. The re-opening is primarily to facilitate laboratory and practical work, with rooms to be used at 50% capacity only, for final year Science Undergraduate and Postgraduate (PG) students, whose theory classes will however continue operating online. 

However, despite this much-awaited reopening of the varsity, the first day was met with a puzzlingly lukewarm response from the students across the colleges. Officials anticipate this since a large percentage of attending students come from outside the Delhi NCR region, students who will only reallocate to the capital city after further assurance of continuing the reopening and the easing of covid restrictions. 

We had a few students come in for the zoology and computer science practicals today […] but the main issue is that 55% of our students are from outside Delhi. While we are prepared for the students to come, those from outside are preferring to wait for classes to go completely offline because it is difficult, with so much uncertainty, to return for only a part of their work and for the rest to be done online. 

The Principal of Kirori Mal College told the Indian Express

At SGTB Khalsa, approximately 40% of the students expected to come to campus are outstation students while the same number is as high as 60% in Deshbandhu College. Following covid protocols, hostels can only house one student per room and with no assurance of PG facilities opening, outstation students find themselves in a precarious position concerning returning to the capital to attend practical classes alone. 

We must also take into consideration how difficult the hassle is for the professors, which happened the last time as well. Although I am not taking any third-year classes this time, not all the requisite students are able to come for the practical classes. As a result, professors have to conduct offline lab work with a handful of students and at the same time live stream the same for those attending online. But what people fail to realise is that our colleges are hardly equipped to deal with such streaming facilities,

said Professor Bintili Biswas, a senior professor of Zoology at Ramjas College. 

Our teams have visited colleges like Satyawati, Shivaji, Hansraj, RLA etc. We have seen that there are no real security measures except some sanitizers and temperature checking. It’s really not enough. We have demanded that vaccination centres be created in all colleges and vaccination be ensured to the students. Along with this, DU has to keep in mind students’ accommodation. Hostels must reopen and must be allocated to the returning students.

Abhigyaan, an active member while talking with DU Beat.

In conversations with various news outlets like Hindustan Times and Indian Express, outstation students have voiced their opinion to continue attending laboratory classes online till the time. Despite not having any hostel facilities, principal Rajiv Aggarwal of Deshbandhu College expressed the administration’s hope that the turnout of students attending practical classes will increase in the coming days. 

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Feature Image Credits: India Today

Anwesh Banerjee 

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