Updated: April 1, 2022 10:11:04 am
Scores of Jamia Millia Islamia students staged a protest in campus Thursday, demanding the complete reopening of college.
On February 14, Jamia had begun offline classes for final year students. On March 2, classes for postgraduate students shifted to offline mode, and on March 15, the shift was made for undergraduate students. The university had said the decision for students of the remaining years would be taken later.
“We students of first year and the intermediate years were greatly unsatisfied with this partiality. We held many protests for the full reopening, but the administration didn’t care,” said a student.
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“When all universities and campuses have re-opened with 100 per cent capacity, what is stopping Jamia from doing the same? There is a major question of digital divide which the administration is ignoring. We will be left behind compared to students of other universities. They say they cannot call all students because of lack of accomodation, but even the ones who have been allowed to come back don’t have access to hostels. So what is the point?” a student of civil engineering said.
Another student of Islamic Studies said, “Even final year students who attended 5-6 months of classes online, and have shifted to offline mode about two weeks, are being told they will have to give their exams in offline mode. How is this fair? We want the campus to reopen for all students. It’s high time. There is no logic for keeping it shut even partially.”
The university in its February 14 notification had said that “wherever the online classes are being conducted, the examinations will also be conducted in online mode, and where offline classes are being conducted, the examinations will be conducted in offline mode.”
The students have demanded “‘complete access to offline classes for all batches and semesters”, as well as “access to the central library and departmental libraries for all students”.
They’ve also demanded the reopening of all canteens, including the central canteen, allocation and reopening of hostels, and complete reinstallation of all basic facilities like drinking water and toilets.
In a statement, the students said, “There should be no offline exams for the students who completed more than half of their classes online, and the university should stop personal targeting of the students who are taking initiative in the reopening campaign and other programmes in Jamia Millia Islamia.
“Keeping the Minority Campus for a long time will harm the education of an oppressed community, whereas all the universities and other educational institutions of India have been restored fully.
“We demand Jamia Millia Islamia administration fulfill our demands immediately and restore the whole campus,” they added.
When contacted, Chief Proctor Waseem Ahmad Khan said those protesting were not in alignment with the opinion of most students. “We can open the university anytime for everybody but we have to take all students into account. We had made it clear that if we open the university and take offline classes, exams will also be held offline. But we have several emails by students asking that exams be held online. Most students who are out of town don’t wish to come to campus. We have to consider them as well,” he said.
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