Published: 21st June 2022
Start offline classes, students of JNU's School of International Studies demand
The students started a sit-in protest and were seen to have spray-painted the campus around the School of International Studies with slogans and hashtags
The students of Jawaharlal Nehru University’s (JNU) School of International Studies (SIS) are frustrated that the department has not started the classes for the current academic session yet. They have been staging protests over the issue since last week, and from today, June 20, on the seventh day of the demonstration, they started a sit-in protest. Though the university reopened its campus in February and it had been notified that offline classes would begin, the students of the university report otherwise.
“In JNU, no instructions have been issued for the commencement of classes. However, most Schools began their classes online and very often, offline classes are held. But the School of International Studies has not begun its offline classes yet. It was three months back that the Dean of SIS had brought out a notification that the offline classes would begin. But the notification was soon withdrawn and no classes have been conducted,” informed Madhurima Kundu, Secretary, AISA (All India Students’ Association) of JNU.
“The Dean did not do anything then, and neither has there been any response from the administration about the recent protests. The MA students have boycotted their online classes and have participated in the sit-in protest. Almost all the 200 students of the SIS are participating. There are students from three different courses of the School involved, namely IRAS (International Relation), PISM (Political Science) and CITD (Economics),” she added.
The students had spray-painted the campus around the SIS with slogans and hashtags. #CampusKholo, #Nomoreonlineclasses, #ReopenSIS and the like have been written by the students. A “Dean must resign” graffiti was also seen among the rest. "Today (June 20) students sat in front of the school building and decided to close it for all administrative work, under the strike called by the students. This was done as last resort after multiple petitions, protests, and sit-ins. Students have decided to continue protesting until offline classes are started by the school admin," a press release issued by the SIS students and shared by Madhurima.
The students have already submitted written representations to the Rector of the university, the Dean of the School of International Studies, and various other chairpersons. Earlier in May, they had boycotted the registrations for the second term until SIS announced the commencement of physical classes. According to the press release, the hostel allotment for SIS students has started and some have even moved in, but still, the college hasn't announced physical classes.
"This is happening despite continuous protest from the students, who claim online classes are not productive, due to lack of interaction, the added cost attached to the internet, lack of proper network connection, and mental health issues among others. The school administration has continuously ignored these pleas and has only reacted with apathy," a paragraph in the press release states.
“Sai (N Sai Balaji, AISA National President) has asked the Dean of the Centre regarding the commencement of offline classes in the university. The protest at SIS is being held by students of the Centre collectively. We are just supporting them,” Madhurima said.