Delhi University Teachers Allege Harassment While Taking Online Classes

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Rudrani Kumari
A literature student and a writer enmeshed in the politics of illusion and reality. I love writing poetry, articles, and blogs. Reading fiction and debating the non-fiction; music and food are the footholds of my self, in constant flux between real and poetic. I believe life is not invested only in the visible truth, the stone, the stars and you. There are truths in fiction, ghosts, myths, and fairies.

Owing to the global pandemic Coronavirus which resulted in shutting down all the colleges, Delhi University started taking online lectures to prevent loss of academia. However, several teachers have complained of alleged harassment while taking classes online. A number of Delhi University teachers have complained that some miscreants who are not a part of the original classroom, logs in to the web classroom and harasses the teachers by sending abuses or obscene material.

A South Campus College Assistant Professor told The Hindu that while taking lectures on the video conferencing application – Zoom, an unknown person logged in and started abusing him.  “It was embarrassing for us all. We had to abruptly suspend the class. We later went through the recorded video of the lecture to identify the person and found that there is no student by that name in our class” he said.

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While conducting an online lecture through video conferencing applications such as Zoom, Google Hangouts or others, a teacher shares the invitation link of the lecture with the students. The students join the class by simply entering their names and email ids. The alleged harassment cases show a possibility that the lectures being hacked or students are sharing the invitation links outside the classroom.

DU Executive Council member Rajesh Jha told The Hindu, “Several women teachers have informed us that they were abused and harassed during these live classes.” “ These incidents clearly indicate that students are sharing these invites with outsiders. Many countries are facing similar issues in conducting online classes.”

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Singapore recently banned some video conferencing applications after hackers posted obscene material on these web applications.

“We are aware of these incidents and are trying to fix it. We may file a police complaint.” Meanwhile, as per the DU Teacher Association secretary Rajinder Singh, “Teachers have started removing the person who writes or shares any unnecessary messages from the class.” a DU official was quoted in a The Hindu report.

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