Even as the colleges affiliated with the University of Mumbai are busy taking their first semester exams online, different groups of students have demanded that the state government take immediate action to gradually reopen colleges and universities.
In their lawsuit, student groups have expressed the need for practical classes for various subjects that have been impossible for universities to teach online, leaving students lost during exams.
“The first semester at all universities was held virtually where the focus was primarily on theory. But a lot of subjects in the arts, science and other fields require hands-on classes to better understand the concepts, which was not in the curriculum, ”said Siddharth Ingle, president of the Maharashtra Student Union (MASU). He added that MASU and other student groups have already raised this issue with local authorities and now hope that the state education minister will take a position.
“The state has allowed temples and churches to be open to the public, but schools and universities remain closed. Rather than procrastinate, the government should adopt measures and guidelines to ensure the safe reopening of universities for the benefit of students, ”Ingle added. His group has also demanded that the state minister of higher and technical education, Uday Samant, pronounce on the state of the fees charged by universities, especially when the lectures have only been held practically for the entire semester.
In November of this year, the state government decided to bring 9-12 students back to their schools and colleges in batches to focus on conducting hands-on lectures for them. However, with the increase in Covid-19 cases in other states around the same time, the government lobbied to change its position and instead asked that educational institutes remain closed until December 31, 2020.
Today, many schools across the state, except Mumbai and Thane, have already started bringing students from classes 9 to 12 back to campus after ensuring teachers undergo RT-PCR testing to show a negative report and students also need consent forms signed by their parents. before going back to school.