Jamia students want university reopened

In a joint statement, students said that it was crucial to reopen the university since several of them had been facing challenges during remote learning
Jamia Millia Islamia is yet to share any roadmap on reopening the campus for undergraduate courses. (HT Archive)
Jamia Millia Islamia is yet to share any roadmap on reopening the campus for undergraduate courses. (HT Archive)
Published on Sep 20, 2021 11:56 PM IST
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Student groups at Jamia Millia Islamia on Monday unanimously sought that the university be reopened. A group of students approached the university to make a case for its reopening. The university was closed last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a joint statement, students said that it was crucial to reopen the university since several of them had been facing challenges during remote learning. “AC and EC meetings were held four-five days ago but its minutes are not yet released. In this situation, the students are facing an uncertainty related to the reopening of the campus,” said the statement issued by the student organisations

Following the Delhi Disaster Management Authority directive on August 30, which allowed students of higher educational institutes to return to campuses as long as 50% seating capacity was maintained, Delhi University (DU) and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) released their own reopening plans. While JNU allowed final-year PhD students to return to campus from Monday following a mandatory negative Covid-19 test report, DU allowed final-year undergraduate and postgraduate students to return to campus only for their practical examss, lab work, or academic consultation. Jamia, on the other hand, is yet to share any roadmap on reopening for undergraduate courses.

The students’ statement also highlighted the travails they were facing due to the challenges of the digital divide and the lack of library facilities. Continued closure of the university would deteriorate the education system further, students said. “We have already seen the grievances students faced due to the ever-increasing digital divide and relentless natural calamities that went in parallel with the pandemic. Many students, who want to access libraries and practical equipment, are not yet given access to them,” the statement said.

Less than two weeks ago, vice-chancellor Najma Akhtar said that the university had not discussed reopening for undergraduate students so far. “We have already been allowing final-year PG students of professional and science courses to come to the campus for their practical and lab work. Even final-year PhD students are allowed to come to campus following a special permit. With the risk of a third wave around the corner, we cannot take any decision in haste as it would put our students at risk,” she said.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2021