Jamia students protest, demand re-opening of university

Jamia students protest, demanding re-opening of university

According to a press statement released by SFI, the demand for offline classes arises from the fact that e-learning and online classes have created a huge digital divide, which is highly exclusionary.

Many students carrying banners were seen at gate number 15 of Jamia Millia Islamia on February 17, raising slogans against Jamia Vice Chancellor Najma Akhtar. They demanded the reopening of the university and resumption of offline classes.

Following the protest call given by Jamia AISA unit, Jamia PRO Ahmad Azeem said the health concern of students considering Covid -19 is a major issue.

“University authorities met the protesting students and assured them that their grievances will be discussed in the Executive Council, also considering other stakeholders,” said sources.

“Views of all stakeholders, including parents will be taken into consideration before a decision on reopening the campus will be taken by the EC of the university,” he told NewsClick, adding that, “a large number of students and parents wrote to the university administration that at present online teaching should continue as the environment is still not conducive for offline classes”.

In a press statement released by the SFI, it said the demand for offline classes arises from the fact that e-learning and online classes have created a huge digital divide, which is highly exclusionary.

A delegation of six students met with the Chief Proctor and the Dean of Students Welfare and submitted submit memorandum of their demands.

The demands raised included the immediate reopening of Jamia campus; decision to bring students back for on-campus instruction should be given priority as all options of online education are exclusionary and rely heavily on an unreal degree of digitalization and classrooms should also be rearranged to allow for social distancing and better ventilation.

Also, students demanded that university administration must provide android handsets, laptops and data pack to students not having such facilities during the period of transition from online mode to offline mode of education.

The AISA said it demands the varsity administration to immediately disburse all pending scholarships and to unfailingly continue the disbursal every month.

Abreeda Banu of SFI JMI unit said: “University administration must consider the demands of students to reopen the campus. Everything is open except the university campuses. So, it’s high time to reopen JMI campus,” reported NewsClick.

On its social media post, this is what AISA wrote: “Protest by AISA – Jamia along with other organisations and students of Jamia at Gate No.15 for the reopening of the university campus!”

“Today on February 17, 2020, hundreds of students of Jamia protested outside the VC office with their demand of immediate reopening of the campus.”

AISA’s Shoaib said online mode of teaching and learning has left a vast majority of students behind and their education prospects in want.

“Comrade Mishkat and Com Sakshi highlighted the issues faced by female students. They said the coronavirus pandemic is having potentially catastrophic impacts on the health of female students. The continued lockdown of campus has led to dropouts of female students of Jamia. It has become a struggle for female students to attain education,” wrote AISA Jamia on the social media.

AISA wrote that the university administration assured us that the Central Library, the reading rooms and departmental libraries would be opened in the coming week. They added that the phased wise reopening of the campus would be started in the coming week.

The OT was unable to confirm the AISA claim with the university officials.