On 28th January, the All India Students’ Association (AISA) conducted a ‘University on Streets’ at Arts Faculty, University of Delhi, as a protest against the digital divide due to online education. Students and teachers joined in to raise slogans for the immediate reopening of the Delhi University campus. AISA said that if the Government and administration are adamant on keeping the campus closed then students shall reclaim it themselves.
The teachers of the University on Streets were Dr. Laxman Yadav and Dr. Jitendra Meena. Dr. Laxman Yadav spoke of the grave crisis that digital education has brought saying, “This system has been devastating for the Dalits, Adivasis, Labourers, and Women of the country!”.
“The BJP government is scared of free thought and protest of students and feels comfortable in keeping our campus closed”, said Dr. Jitendra Meena, who is a Professor at DU.
Students also spoke of their experiences with online education. Jayant Raghav, a visually impaired student of Ram Lal Anand college talked of the difficulties faced by students of the PwD category, while Saumya Sagarika and Geetika Bindra of Ramjas and Aurobindo college respectively, highlighted the struggles of women students.
“The government has re-opened everything of leisure ranging from cinemas to bars but still Delhi university is in a state of lockdown, furthermore the university has failed in providing even basic facilities like laptops or e-reading material to the students in need. This is nothing but a creation of a digital divide among students, in response to this AISA organised – university on streets and conducted classes outside arts faculty gate to mark our protest against the digital divide and to demand immediate re-opening of Delhi university with SOP along with other demands”, said Manik Gupta, RLA College, VP AISA DU
University on Streets concluded with a poem of Savitri Bai Phule recited by Shreya of IPCW and a resolve to struggle for free education to all sections of the society.
Meanwhile the Covid-19 Cases recorded in the capital on 27th January were less than 100 for first time in almost 9 months. The Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday allowed cinema halls and theatres to operate with more people, swimming pools have been permitted for use by all in fresh COVID-19 reopening guidelines which will be effective nation wide from February 1.