Delhi: Following a notification issued by Ambedkar University administration announcing the commencement of the monsoon semester 2020 from August 4 online for the present batches of the university, students and many members of the faculty have opposed the move.
A delegation of the Ambedkar University Students’ Council (AUDSC) met with Abhinandita Dayal Mathur, advisor to Deputy CM and Education Minister Manish Sisodia and submitted a memorandum along with a report on the survey conducted by the Council on online education and assessment that was in place for part of the winter semester 2020.
AUDSC said in a release: “This notification has been viewed by both the students and faculty as being highly insensitive as it fails to account for half of the students who do not have access to the infrastructure required for online classes (according to an AUDSC survey).”
The Council also said that a massive mail campaign has been launched by the students of the university, informing the administration their two key demands. One, postponement of the online classes, and the other is that infrastructure support be provided to the students.
It said, “The council would like to inform that Dr Mathur was acknowledging of the students’ concerns and has further suggested a survey among the students of AUD in regards to the number of laptops to be required while urging the council to conduct a university-wide signature petition to the Delhi Govt. for postponement of the classes. She would also personally talk to Deputy CM about the postponement of online classes.”
The survey report submitted by AUDSC says, “75% students feel that online teaching & assessments have not been inclusive of and accessible to students across caste, class, gender and geographical locations.”
It added that in the winter semester, while 47.8% students accessed online education via smartphones, over 2% did not have any electronic device to participate in online learning.
A blueprint of how the different programmes would like to function in the view of their programme-specific concerns along with a university-wide charter of demands will also be submitted to the government, as per the release.
AUDSC has also noted that many students can not afford to pay the fees anymore owing to the pandemic, lockdowns, and resultant financial crises. As a result, students have raised the demand of “50% reduction in all existing rates”.
“The AUDSC believes that there should not be any discrimination whatsoever in the way the education will be imparted and that even one student being left out is one too many. It is in his commitment, the AUDSC would like to take forward this struggle for a free and fair education for all,” added the release.
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