On 29th January 2021, in the official notification released by Delhi University, teachers were directed to conduct online classes from the campus itself. The order stated, “All colleges, centers and departments shall be functional and therefore, all the teaching staff must attend to their workplace with effect from 01.02.2021.” The notice also included the permission for final year students to visit the colleges for library and practical purposes in small batches.
However, this has created chaos and confusion for both teachers and students alike. While the former struggles with internet lapse, the latter’s online classes have been shelved. Teaching and learning in an online class is already tiresome activity and if network issues are added it becomes altogether a brawling experience for everyone.
It is a well-known fact that the infrastructure of most of the DU colleges don’t have stable internet connections nor support smooth internet connectivity. As a result, the teachers are shoved to either cancel or reschedule their classes. Furthermore, because of the weak and unstable college internet connections the teachers were not able to screen share or upload any documents.
DU students are equally being affected as the learning process has been disrupted. In addition to that, many students complained about the background noises coming from the staff room and the common areas as teachers didn’t possess a separate area for conduction of the classes. The chaotic ruckus made it impossible for students to attend the classes with full concentration.
This recent development in the reopening of colleges has catered a huge number of issues, especially for teachers. The Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) released a press and criticized the varsity for not giving colleges and teachers ‘adequate time for preparation’. The association termed the notification “mindless” and demanded its “immediate withdrawal”. It also shed light on the fact of lack of space available in the campus in the time of social distancing and that most of the colleges do not have the facility of sound infrastructure that can hold all the teachers at the same time.
“Today, teachers turned up at the workplace to find that they had to struggle to find an appropriate space from where they could teach. The internet collapsed in many colleges and teachers were found roaming around with their portable devices or laptops to be able to meet their online classes,” DUTA president Rajib Ray alleged in a statement.
The college campus is surely the most appropriate place to take offline classes but it doesn’t stand true for online classes. The Delhi University administration should take some mindful steps. Either the colleges should be made fully functional for everyone with strict guidelines or should allow the teachers to take classes from their comfort place or should equip the colleges with stable connection.