Mumbai colleges set to reopen, TISS still undecided
Even as colleges in Mumbai prepare to reopen their campuses to students after almost 11 months of lockdown, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) is yet to take a decision on it.
“We are studying all guidelines and assessing the requirements for physical classes. For TISS, opening the campus would mean opening hostels to students,” said PK Shajahan, dean, academics at TISS.
In view of the Covid-19 pandemic, the institute had issued a circular on March 17 last year asking students to vacate hostels. Since then, the campus in Deonar has remained shut while classes continue online.
Shajahan said the institute is currently analysing the ground situation for implementing the guidelines issue by the University Grants Commission for reopening of campuses. “We will follow all guidelines and take a decision after making an assessment of the ground situation,” he added.
Meanwhile, the demand for reopening the campus and granting access to the library is growing among students. Progressive Students’ Forum, a student body at TISS, has written to the administration seeking clarity on its plan to reopen.
“It is now well established that the shift to digital education has disproportionately affected students from socio-economically marginalised communities. As the mode of education has changed to online completely, students are struggling with various issues, ranging from dissatisfaction with the quality of classes to network issues that affect accessibility to classes. Many research students are unable to continue their work without access to library facilities. We have demanded the administration to take these issues into serious consideration and reopen the campus in a phased manner as per the guidelines of the Maharashtra state government,” said PSF in a statement.
The demands come close on the heels of last week’s announcement by Maharashtra higher and technical education minister Uday Samant that colleges can reopen from February 15. He said that classes were to be held on a rotational basis with 50% attendance.
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