Say no to blended mode of education: Over 1800 students sign online petition
Over 1800 students from educational institutes across the country have signed a petition to protest the blended mode of education proposed by the University Grants Commission amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Students from institutes in Mumbai have also responded to the call for the digital campaign by All India Forum to Save Public Education-- a pan-India group of students and student unions, formed to highlight students’ issues during the pandemic.
Through the signature campaign, students have made six demands-- making higher education inclusive by not adopting a blended mode of education, universal vaccination for all stakeholders including students, teachers and staff in academia, immediate disbursal of fellowships and extensions for completing thesis, ensuring that the differential policies for board exams don’t affect students’ futures, inclusion of student representatives in the task forces across institutes to deliberate on academic activities and special economic help to families of students from marginalised communities.
“Right now students are unable to participate in a physical protest because of the lockdown and students being busy with online classes. This signature campaign is to mobile the student community across the country and highlight the issues they face,” said Abhishek Nandan, president of the student union at Hyderabad Central University.
The letter with the demands from students is addressed to the President of India. “The blended policy of having 40% of student population on campus and 60% studying online will only further the digital divide among students. In a classroom, students are in the same environment and have an equal opportunity of learning. It’s not the same with online education as students from different backgrounds lack basic infrastructure,” said an MA student from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.