Jamia Millia Islamia students are delighted with the reopening of the campus, no hostels are a problem
JMI to reopen for offline classes, students are excited
The gradual resumption of physical classes at Jamia Millia Islamia from next month, after a two-year hiatus, has left students elated albeit unsettled at having to arrange accommodation given that hostels will not be available immediately after the campus reopening.
Following an improvement in the Covid situation, the university announced on Monday that physical classes for final-year postgraduate students will resume from March 2 and for final-year undergraduate students from mid- March.
No decision has been made regarding middle years classes for UG and PG courses. The restart has been done in a gradual manner taking into account the travel time of students from outside who need the necessary preparation to reach Delhi. The administration, however, added that hostels will not open until COVID-19 protocols are in place.
“As of now, no date has been set. The hostels are being renovated. It will take time,” said Jamia Millia Islamia prosecutor Waseem Khan. PTI.
Abdul Wahid Rahmani, a fourth-semester student, alleged the university had “delayed” the reopening of the campus and said the administration could have easily prepared the student hostels but “the intention was lacking”. “If they wanted to provide accommodation facilities, they could have easily done so. There is no intention to provide the facilities.
“Jamia’s hostel system is very well organized and they have had plenty of time to prepare the rooms. They want to avoid reopening as long as possible,” he said.
Mr Rahmani said several students had expressed their concerns and were trying to arrange their accommodation before their arrival.
“I have received calls from many students asking for temporary accommodation. Not everyone can afford to rent flats and spend more than Rs 10,000 per month,” he said.
Ladeeda Farzaba, a third-year undergraduate Arabic student, said she was delighted after the Jamia administration announced the reopening of the campus from early March. She used to stay in a hostel before the pandemic hit. But now she is a new mother and has asked friends for help in finding suitable accommodation.
“I used to stay in a hostel. But I don’t know what’s going to happen now. It’s going to be difficult, but the students wanted the university to reopen, so that’s good too,” added Farzaba. University supervisor Waseem Khan, however, claimed that the majority of students did not take advantage of the hostel facilities.
“There are only a few thousand places (in hostels) and once we have the Covid protocol in place the number of places available will be cut in half. So I don’t think it’s that big a problem,” he said.
The university announced that the library and reading rooms will be open from February 21. Ramees, a doctoral student, felt the university should have opened sooner and accused the administration of being “very late”. Most doctoral students do not take advantage of hostel facilities and live near Jamia, he said, but agreed that graduate and postgraduate students will face difficulties if hostels do not reopen soon. “There have been a lot of protests about this in recent days. Most universities have opened their campuses but Jamia only announced the reopening on Monday,” he said.
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