Life came to pause when the world was hit by the pandemic in 2020, where all life sectors including the education sector were trounced. However, with a decrease in the cases of the Covid in Sikkim, the State government decided to open all educational institutions. Still, the only central university of Sikkim didn’t resume its classes, which turned out to be worrisome for students.
For the past few weeks, the students of Sikkim University have been complaining to the Sikkim Chronicle, stating that most of the Central Universities in the country have switched back to physical classes in lieu of the decreasing Covid cases, but Sikkim University is not.
“I came to join my classes February this year in the hope the University will start physical classes, but that didn’t happen, and I had to pack my bags and go back home” said one student with request in maintaining anonymity.
“For the past two years, we have been frustrated and falling out of confidence. The university not having physical classes is a serious issue for us, and it seems like the university authorities are playing with our future. Due to the ongoing online classes, physical practicals are not being conducted” stated another student
“We tried reaching out to Sikkim university, but the response was ‘we will do something on behalf of the students, but no positive statement is given”
Reshav Subba, SUSA caretaker executive President stated that “Due to online classes the students are facing various problems such as internet connectivity, non-availability of practical classrooms and interaction, no exchange of ideas amongst the students, and also it seems that education is being compromised”
Speaking with Sikkim Chronicle, Avinash Khare Vice-Chancellor of Sikkim University “The University has decided to initiate physical classes for the fourth semester (PG) and sixth semester (UG) starting June 13. The students will be notified accordingly,”
Retaliating to the remarks, VC Khare maintained, “The university needs to follow UGC regulations however in the past few months we conducted meetings with deans, Hods, faculties and students’ representatives in which we have decided to partially start physical classes and starting from the next semester university will function like before”
“The students have to bring Medical Fitness clearance from the SU Health Centre prior to joining the physical classes”
“Accommodating students in the hostel was also one of the factors of delay in resuming offline classes as we have to follow UGC guidelines in which it is mentioned that only ‘one person-one room’ which meant that only one person per room” Khare added
Following the opening of the classes, VC Khare informed that examinations for the fourth and sixth semesters will be conducted offline, However, both examinations and classes of other semester students will be conducted through online mode for this semester.
Additionally, VC Khare also informed that from next semester, regular classes will be practised along with pending election of the SUSA executive body will also be conducted. (Last election was held in 2019).
Sikkim University is the only central university in Sikkim. The university serves 2300 students approximately with 35 departments in total