Frontlist | Why attendance at DU colleges is under 40%Frontlist | Why attendance at DU colleges is under 40%
on Feb 11, 2021 The reopening of Delhi University colleges for final-year science students — undergraduates as well as postgraduates — to finish their lab work has drawn a lukewarm response.
Many colleges at the premier central government university told that attendance has hovered at 10-40 per cent since the institutes reopened on 1 February.Among the primary reasons, according to college administrations, is that students from other parts of India are still reluctant to return to Delhi. Many students are also said to be unwilling to juggle online and offline lessons, and prefer to stick to digital classes until colleges reopen in full swing. Along with schools and colleges across the country, Delhi University shut down in March 2020 as the Covid-19 pandemic took hold in India. Classes subsequently moved online to avoid disruptions in the academic calendar. While vaccination for Covid began in India last month, the vast majority of Indians likely face a wait of several months before they can access a shot. As a result, distancing still remains key to avoiding Covid-19 transmission. While some colleges have reopened for students, DU has currently only called back students who need to finish their lab work to complete their courses.
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‘Response has not been very good’Anju Srivastava, the principal of Hindu College, said they started physical classes for social science and pure science students on 1 February but the attendance has only been 20 per cent. “Physical classes were resumed mainly for science students and we also opened it for social science students who need interactive sessions. The response has not been very good because a large student demographic is from outside Delhi,” she told ThePrint. “For example, our Physics department has 100 students but only 15 of them, who are from Delhi, are turning up.
“We had prepared our online platforms very well, it seems like students have found the real-time online practical sessions more viable. A combination of online and offline classes is not something that students seem to be comfortable with,” she added.Asked about accommodation for returning students, she said the government has issued no standard operating procedure for reopening hostels. “Most of the rooms are shut in our hostels but students who chose to live there (during the Covid lockdown) haven’t been asked to vacate yet, keeping in mind the need of the hour,” she added. “Once some indication is given on hostel management, we will get our hostels cleaned and will create a plan for accommodation of students who turn up.” Ramjas College Principal Manoj Khanna blamed the poor turnout on students being too afraid to come to Delhi yet. “Although the news of the vaccine has been encouraging, till the time there is an absolute reopening of colleges, I don’t think students will return in big numbers,” he said. At Swami Shraddhanand College in West Delhi, Principal Praveen Garg said, the attendance was about 20 per cent over the last one week. The response has been mixed at Deshbandhu College, but Principal Rajiv Aggarwal said he had a fair idea why one science discipline has an attendance of 80 per cent, while that for others is no more than 40 per cent. “Our Zoology department has seen an astounding 80 per cent attendance. Presumably, the reason for such a positive turnout is that most of the students in the batch are from Delhi,” he added. “Our Physics, Chemistry and Botany departments have seen a 30-40 per cent attendance but we are expecting them to improve in the coming week,” he said.