Published: 03rd June 2021
UGC's blended learning plan will make education exclusive to the privileged: JNUSU
In a statement, the JNUSU said that there is no "evidence to vouch for the effectiveness of online classes"
The Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union (JNUSU) has pointed out that the blended learning and teaching plan of the University Grants Commission (UGC) is divisive and called it an "attempt to make higher education exclusive for the socio-economically advantaged".
They said that the policy is in line with the National Educational Policy (NEP) which the students have been vehemently opposing as they think it will "undermine the basic tenets of independent research and the right to dissent in campus spaces". "This character of NEP on curbing dissent has been repeated for this draft as well because the period for suggestions of stakeholders that have been asked to be sent, has been strategically reduced to mere 20 days from the date of its release, that is till June 6," the JNUSU said in a statement.
The JNUSU said that there is no "evidence to vouch for the effectiveness of online classes". "Continuing in this mode affects the quality of academia as it cannot substitute the learning that takes place in classrooms. Moreover, any advantage that might arise from the blended mode comes at a greater cost of exclusion of students from marginalised communities from getting higher education. No matter how planned and prepared the draft is, it renders the socio-economically marginalised students unaddressed and further disadvantaged," said the union. "The claim that these issues can be solved readily with a budgetary allocation of 3-3.5 per cent is nothing but an assumption of the government that is devoid of any considerations to social and material reality," the statement further added.