Monday, Apr 27, 2015

VJTI ban on ‘special days’ draws flak from student activists, college principals

m4-med The VJTI director has issued a circular calling for a ban on celebration of “special days” on campus. (Reuters)
Written by Dipti Sonawala | Mumbai | Published on:March 14, 2014 1:55 am

Following the ban on celebrating “special days” at Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI) campus, student activists and unions have openly criticised the move, stating that such a ban was unfair and amounted to curbing the freedom of students.

The VJTI director has issued a circular calling for a ban on celebration of “special days” on campus. While some college principals said the decision was justified, others said it was unfair.

“Students, while celebrating these special days on campus, make new friends. It is wrong on the part of the institute to ban students from organising these days.

Maintaining decorum does not mean students must not participate in extra-curricular activities. VJTI director cannot force students to follow these unjustified rules,” said advocate Manoj Tekade from Prahar Vidhyarthi Sanghatana.

Vijay Joshi, principal of K J Somaiya College of Science and Commerce,  Vidyavihar, said it was the responsibility of the institute head to plan the academic calender and extra-curricular activities with students.

“Banning these activities on campus is not a solution. It is true that academics are important and the academic calender should not be disturbed, but these activities shouldn’t be banned as students learn a lot from these events.

I believe that brilliant ideas come out on a coffee table and not in a classroom. Principals and institute heads must plan in advance and see to it that there is no academic loss and at the same time, students should be given the freedom to organise these days,” said Joshi.

Dinesh Punjwani, principal of R D National College at Bandra, however, said  students often bunked classes and diverted their attention towards coaching institutes. “It becomes very difficult for institute heads to maintain academic decorum. Students can make friends and have interactions in classrooms too.

They can participate in cultural and sports activities. Most of the students misuse the freedom given to them. Colleges too have limited time to complete the syllabus. During these special days, most students do not attend classes. We are forced to take such decisions as we are concerned about their academic future,” he said.

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