Despite the reopening of Delhi University colleges for final year practical classes, the ratio of students attending physical classes in colleges is quite low. This was associated with the fact that a large number of students studying at Delhi University are from outside Delhi. Without hostel reopening, very few students returned to colleges for physical classes.
The Delhi University colleges also witnessed low attendance of professors as many of them were disappointed with the University’s decision that all the teachers should be present at colleges despite classes being taken online.
A deserted view was witnessed near the north campus on the first and second day of reopening. The principal of Hindu College, Anju Srivastava said that outstation students did not return to colleges as the hostels are not yet opened. Moreover, the colleges have made batches of students who are coming for Practical classes so the number will be less at a time, she added.
Manoj Khanna, Principal at Ramjas College asserted the same reason behind low physical attendance of students as a large number of students are from outside Delhi.
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Ramjas College’s staff association after conducting an online meeting issued a statement condemning the University of Delhi’s decision of mandating attendance in the colleges for DU teachers from 1st February. The staff association asked teachers to continue with online classes till the coronavirus situation is curtailed by the government for the safe reopening of colleges.
Teachers on the very first day of DU reopening complaint of infrastructure and connectivity issues at DU colleges. An associate professor at Ramjas College, Debraj Mookherjee said that the issue is not just with the Wi-Fi connectivity but many of the teachers do not have laptops. He added not even mobile networks work properly in their college. He added that the University’s decision should have been for only science teachers as they have to conduct practical classes.
A teacher at DU’s Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, Amrita Dhawan said that at present we are taking online classes from home. If all the teachers return to college at once, the college’s Wi-Fi system would collapse. Moreover, due to the unavailability of accommodation facilities, more than half of parents are not willing to send their children back to Delhi.
A physics student at Rajdhani College, Sandeep Sindhu chose to remain absent from physical classes. Sandeep asserted that he is not scared but his parents are worried about sending him back to Delhi as the hostel facility is not yet available.
Delhi University’s off-campus colleges however witnessed a fairly larger turnout. SP Aggarwal from Ramanujan College said that we have a good number of students attending physical classes as apart from the science stream, the college has practical subjects for humanities and management stream too.
A final-year student, Sourabh Aggarwal who attended the college for the first time after the lockdown called it a surreal experience.