NEW DELHI: Delhi University (DU) colleges are gearing up to welcome the students on Thursday as many of them will be visiting the campus for the first time since they took admission. The university has been closed for nearly two years owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is set to resume offline academic activities from Thursday.

There is a sense of fervour among the students, who are excited to return to the campus and “reclaim” the years lost due to the pandemic.


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Talking to PTI, Gajendra Mohan Thakur, a 26-year-old Campus Law Centre student, said, “I am excited to go back to the campus. The university was shut for around two years. The online mode of study was not efficient enough to substitute the offline mode of education. It is a time to reclaim our lost years.”
The DU colleges were closed in March 2020 in the wake of the pandemic. The reopening of the campus comes amid a decline in the number of Covid cases in the national capital. Student bodies held protests earlier this month, demanding the reopening of the campus.

“The last couple of years have brought drastic changes in the lives of students with a particular emphasis on online classes, although now, when lives are coming back on track, we students are super excited to join offline classes as it provides a whole new bunch of opportunities and exposure to shape our future.

“Offline classes also provide a better platform for student-teacher interaction and better learning,” said Kalyani Harbola, a first-year student.

Delhi colleges are all set to welcome back the students, several of whom would be first-year and second-year students who have only attended classes in the online mode.

Gyantosh Jha, the principal of the Atma Ram Sanatan Dharma College, told PTI that the college administration is ready to welcome the students on Thursday.

“We got the campus sanitised on Wednesday and are ready to welcome the students. Many parents visited the college with their wards on Wednesday. The first-year and second-year students will be coming to the college for the first time.”

Asked if the college is planning to go for a blended mode of education for the first-year students, he said, “We will see the attendance on Thursday. If 50 per cent students or less turn up, we will go for a hybrid mode for the first-year students. We have spoken to the teachers about it.”

Some students, especially the last-year students of graduation and post-graduation courses, are demanding hybrid or online classes.

According to them, the exams are approaching and there is no point in making accommodation arrangements for just a couple of months.

The outstation final-year students of the university have started a petition, stating that they should not be called back for just two months.

Addressed to the vice-chancellor, the registrar, the proctor and the dean of students’ welfare, the petition has been started on change.org and over 40,000 people have already signed it.

Tanya Pandey (25), a final-year Campus Law Centre student and one of the signatories to the petition, said, “The students should not be called back for just two months. Since the examinations are approaching and we are almost at the end of the semester and mid-semester breaks are also round the corner, there is no point in making new arrangements for accommodation and travelling to Delhi just for a couple of months.”

Several DU colleges are focussed on complete offline classes for senior batches.

“We will have a blended or hybrid mode of education and the students will be provided academic support to ease stress,” Miranda House principal Bijayalaxmi Nanda told PTI.

She also mentioned that online study and resource materials will be provided to all the students. The Rajdhani College would have online classes for the first-year students. Officials of the Aryabhatta College said no student would be pressured to come for offline classes.

Since the university has been shut for almost two years, preparing hostels takes time and hence, the students might have to wait to get hostel accommodation.


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