The reopening of the Delhi University campus has resulted in several teachers and students demanding the resumption of offline classes as the COVID-19 situation normalizes in the state capital. However, the university wants to take a cautious path and is waiting for guidelines from the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA).
Delhi University Student Union President Akshit Dahiya said laboratory classes for students resumed last month last year, but attendance is still low.
“Online teaching is not for the same purposes as offline teaching. Most of the students studying at the university are from outside of Delhi and they think that it is not possible to come just for laboratory work. We have presented several memoranda to the Vice Chancellor on this matter and will also hold a sit-in on Thursday calling for the reopening of the campus.
Manish Kansal, professor of physics at Hindu College, also said that many students who are from Delhi do not consider it possible to return to the city just to take laboratory classes.
Delhi University Teachers Association Treasurer Abha Dev Habib said students will not think about returning to campus unless the university allows offline exams.
“In schools, too, the exams were initially carried out offline and then physical lessons began. Students have got used to unproven exams (open book exams due to the pandemic) and will not return until the tests go offline. The number of students that come into the labs is really less, ”she said.
Rajesh Jha, a former member of the executive board, said the reopening of the university should be discussed in legal bodies such as the AC and the Electoral Commission so that the necessary safeguards and interests of the students can be taken into account.
“Online teaching during the Covid crisis has exposed its serious limitations and reduced the quality of the pedagogy required for higher education,” he said.
Registrar Vikas Gupta said, however, that the campus will not reopen until DDMA allows 100 percent seating capacity.
He said that most of the students are from outside Delhi and it will be difficult for teachers to decide who to call with a 50 percent seating limit.
Concerning the plan to reopen the university to students, DU VC Yogesh Singh had previously said: “We will open the campus gradually. We don’t want to open it in a hurry and risk the lives of the students. We will open the places that we can open. The university doesn’t seem to be a university without students either, but we want to move forward slowly. ”