KU students allege ‘forced to take offline classes’ despite COVID 19 spike

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The students of the Zakura campus of the University of Kashmir (KU) have alleged that the authorities shut down online-mode classes, while the COVID-19 cases witnessed a rise again, despite a notice served by the registrar to continue the classes online as well as offline.

The students told The Kashmir Walla that while “the students are being forced to take offline classes” their demands for the reopening of the in-campus hostels were taken down by the university management.

After the outbreak of coronavirus in March 2020, the education had moved to online-mode in attempts to curb the further spread of the virus.

Though most of the restrictions on the movement have been removed, and the educational institutes reopened with SOPs, the cases have been rising again in Jammu and Kashmir.

“To our surprise certain teachers discontinued the online classes and [directed the students] to attend offline classes,” a student at the university, pursuing Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering said.

He further said that a group of students approached the Dean at the campus, demanding reopening of hostels for accommodation, however, were denied. “Out of seventy students enrolled in my department, only around ten students, who live in the nearby areas of the campus have been joining the offline classes,” the third-semester student added.

Speaking with The Kashmir Walla, Prof. Syed Muzzafar Andrabi, Dean Zakura Campus, denied the allegations and said that both online and offline classes are functioning at the campus in compliance with the directions from the university.

He added that the management has also taken up the issue of opening the hostel with the concerned authorities for the students. Andrabi assured opening of hostels for the students within two to four days.

However, another student at the campus alleged that Andrabi had asked them “to hire some private accommodation and join offline classes”.

“We have paid the hostel fee and cannot bear the additional expense on private accommodation that would cost us around 8,000 rupees per month in the campus locality,” he said.

The Kashmir Walla also attempted to reach one of the wardens of the university hostels for comments, however, their contacts remained out of service.

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