The mid-semester break is being cut-short due to the prolonged cancellation of classes in the previous weeks.

Due to continuous strikes and cultural fests in the previous weeks, many classes got cancelled from 26th February 2019 to 8th March 2019. To compensate for the cancelled classes, Professor Yogesh Tyagi, Vice Chancellor of the University of Delhi, in accordance with Professor Tarun Kumar Das, Registrar of the University has decided to shorten the mid-semester break.

Previously, the break was scheduled from 17th March 2019 to 25th March 2019. According to a press release, the classes will now resume on Wednesday, 20th March 2019. A press release stated that the decision is being undertaken for the welfare of the students, so that their studies are not affected. The release also states that the administration understands the difficulty the outstation students face to study in Delhi. On top of that, cancellation of classes because of strikes and fests only harms the academic pursuits of the students.

Despite good intentions of the varsity, the outstation students are unhappy with this decision. Most of them are already in their hometown and have plans for Holi with their friends and family. Agrima, a first-year B.A English (Hons.) student from Gargi College says, “I am from Lucknow. I always book tickets ahead of time because they are cheaper. I had already booked my flight for Sunday, 24th March, but now the classes are beginning early. By any means, I will not be able to come back on time, so I will lose out on my attendance.” Another student from Meerut said that he was not willing to spend Holi away from his family. So, even though he could reach on time, he has decided not to come back for these extra classes.

On the other hand, many students appreciate this move of the University. Praachi Ratra, a B.Com (Hons.) student from Jesus and Mary College stated “Our syllabus was behind the schedule due to the strikes and the fest season. Our teacher usually cancelled the class because there were only a few students in the class. Most of them were enjoying the fests. With these extra classes, the students can also catch up on the missed attendance. I am very thankful to my teachers and the University for co-operating.”

Student unions’ of various colleges like Miranda House, Gargi College, Hansraj College etc. are also unwelcoming of this move. A union member of  Hansraj College said, ” Colleges organise their cultural fests every year, it is a moment of celebration for all of us. It is not a small deal for the college and sometimes classes do get cancelled because there are not many students present. Most of them are busy with the fest preparations. We have never heard  something like this before. The students are already in a holiday mood. How are they going to celebrate Holi away from home?”

DU Beat tried contacting Professor Tarun Kumar Das, but he was unavailable to comment.

Despite criticism, this decision shows that the University is giving education an upfront by resuming classes early.

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Image Credits: Niharika Dabral for DU Beat

Sakshi Arora

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