Published: 25th July 2018
Students of Vizag Law University asked to leave hostel for failing exam, only get one day to clear out
The students have been protesting for seven days out on the roads with just make-shift tents to place to protect them
Several students of Damodavaram Sanjivaya National Law University, Sabbavaram, Visakhapatnam, have spent the last seven days on the roads, under tents and in the pouring rain after they were abruptly removed from their programmes. The students say that they were given just a day's notice and were completely in the dark about the newly formed rule that mandated their removal.
The University had detained 120 students after they failed to pass the semester exam and 81 students among them were directed to vacate the hostels within a day. The students call the move 'illegal'. "Many of the students here are from the North East and it is difficult for them to go back on such short notice. Also, the University is situated far away in a remote area and there is no way that we can find any sort of accommodation either. So we have literally been pushed to the roads," a student said.
Not the first time they've been blindsided
The students say that they had no idea about this rule and claim that this rule, like many others, are arbitrarily imposed on the students with absolutely no notification. "Every other semester there are a new set of rules and we are not notified about them. We have no idea what to expect every semester. The semester exam in question was conducted in February and we were supposed to get the results in the next few days but they only announced it in April. Now they are asking us to leave entirely," he added.
Detained unfairly: The students say that every time they fail, they are asked to pay a fee of Rs 1000
Shocking failure rates on campus reason for dismissal?
But why is the University so bent on getting rid of its students? Allegedly to bring down the failure rate. Surprisingly, only about 28 percent of the students manage to pass all the papers, the student representatives said. But the students say the whole blame cannot be placed on them, "If there is such a huge number of students failing in an institute, there is obviously something that the administration is doing wrong. We have one faculty member teaching five to six classes, our quality of education is very low. But that's not the only reason why we're failing."
The students say that every time they fail, they are asked to pay a fee of Rs 1000. Suspiciously, the next time they attempt the exam they always pass. In a statement they've released, the students also alleged that when they get external examiners to correct their papers they always get a higher score. "The internal marks are never displayed so we have no clue about that either. Even if we want to re-evaluate our papers, there is no just mechanism in place to do so," the student said.
The VC-in charge suggested that the students would be allowed to attempt the exam again in November but the students are refusing to accept this as it would mean that they lose out on months of classes. "We have nothing against our VC, we know that he is trying to help us. We have a problem with the examination controller and the registrar, who seem to be ganging up against us for their own benefit," another student said.
#SaveDSNLU: The students have been living on the streets for the last seven days, relying on funds from the alumni
Relying on the mercy of neighbouring Dhabas
"We pay Rs 2 lakh per year to study here and we neither get a quality education nor fair treatment. Now we're on the roads, the female students don't even have basic facilities like toilets," he added. Presently, the students are relying on the help of dhabas nearby and on the funds of the alumni but are vowing to stay on the roads will till "things are set right".
"Our demand is that the University update examination rules, especially to do with re-totaling, re-checking and external evaluation before the start of the academic year. They also should be published on the news website and the administration should stick by those rules. The rules should not be amended midyear," the law students explained. They also demand a fair and transparent functioning of the administration. Till these demands are met, they say they will stay put, even if that means surviving the rains with just a tent to protect them.
They knew of these consequences, University says
A representative of the administration says that students are allowed to attempt the exam four times. But if they've failed a paper in the odd semester they can only attempt the paper in another odd semester, "What the students want is that we conduct the odd semester exam in the even semester but that isn't possible. But our VC is trying to figure out an option," they said. When asked about the students accusing the administration of forcing them out of their hostels, the former says that they already knew that it was going to happen. "The students were allowed to stay in the hostels till their exams and the exam got over on July 19, so they were supposed to leave. The next exam is only in November and according to our rules, we can't house them till then. But we're figuring that out as well," they said.