BHOPAL (Madhya Pradesh): Though the state government, on Friday, ordered all private and government schools to remain shut till January 31, offline classes will continue in the colleges and universities in the city. Examinations are also underway in higher education institutions.
Students of professional, technical and other courses in the colleges and universities say that in view of growing threat of Omicron, not only should their exams be conducted online but physical classes should be immediately stopped.
They told Free Press that corona-protection norms are not being followed in classes and examination centres and also in buses that ferry students to and from their institutions. When schools have been closed, why colleges should remain open, they ask.
Neeraj Bariva, a final year law student from a Government University, said they have submitted memorandum to vice chancellor demanding online exams. The vice chancellor gave no concrete assurance. Who will take the responsibility if anything happens to us? he asks.
Neeraj, who hails from Bina, said hostel accommodation is not available to first year students and they will have to rent rooms in the city to appear in the examinations. Lodging, boarding costs at least Rs 6,000 per month in Bhopal. The students will have to bear extra expenditure and also take risk of catching infection, he says.
Neelam Lodhi, who is pursuing a degree in paramedical science, said offline classes are being held in her college. I live in Vidisha and commute to Bhopal every day. It is not possible to maintain social distancing while commuting, she said.
Khushboo Ansari from Betul, pursuing a degree course in nursing from a private college, said her university, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Medical University, Jabalpur, has decided to hold offline examinations. How will students come to Bhopal to appear in examination? Our parents are not allowing us to travel to Bhopal, she added.
A BSc (agriculture) student in a private college said the management†is making a mockery of Covid guidelines. Let alone students, even teachers donít wear masks. There is no arrangement for sanitisers or thermal screening. Two students are seated on one bench and there are around 80 to 90 students in each room, he added. The buses in which they travel to college are overcrowded. The seats are full and many of us have to keep standing, he says.
Rajesh Verma, a government employ, whose daughter is pursuing BDS course from a private university, said her practical exams are underway. She has to go to college every day. About 20-25 people in her department have tested corona positive. ìYet, the management is not ready to put off the exams, he said.
Government has to decide
We do whatever the government orders us to. The government said, stop online classes. They were stopped. The government said, hold examinations offline. We are doing it. We have no role in decision making.
- Mukesh Dixit, Principal Government MLB College, Bhopal
Risky to hold exams
Does the coronavirus differentiate between school and college students? There are around 17 lakh college students in the state. If they come to their institutions to write their examinations, wonít they run the risk of contracting disease? The government should stop offline classes and examinations in colleges and universities.
-DP Singh, general secretary, Athiti Vidwan Niymitikaran Morcha
Playing with lives
The government is playing with lives of students. We want an immediate stop to offline classes and examinations. We have launched a Twitter campaign #mpstudentswantonlineexams. Only yesterday, there were 23,000 tweets in support of demand. Our protest will continue till government takes right decision.
- Ravi Parmar, State coordinator, NSUI Medical Wing