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FP-Ed: TISS students campaign to resume physical classes

10:28 PM Nov 27, 2021 |

Mumbai: Students of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) have started a campaign demanding to reopen the campus physically. The students’ organisation named Progressive Students’ Forum (PSF) has started this campaign. If the campus is not reopened by November 30, PSF will go to the campus to press their case.

According to the president (acting) of PSF, they have been asking the institute to reopen the campaign since July. “We have tried everything possible to get this message to the administration of TISS. We’ve done a mass mail campaign, a signature campaign, we have issued statements; but to no avail. The teachers from the Teachers Association have been helpful and did respond to us.” says the President.

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“The TISS admission said that they have set up a committee to look into the matter but we are not notified officially,” the president added.

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While interacting with FPJ, TISS students shared their problems. “I am in one year LLM course at TISS, which is a very comprehensive course. Online lectures and online assignments are having detrimental effects on our overall health owing to excessive screen time and less sense of community. We really need the campus to reopen since PG courses have fieldwork and dissertation components, requiring access to the library and a close interface with faculty supervisors. In an online medium, it is becoming difficult to meet the course requirements satisfactorily despite our best efforts. Students from marginalised backgrounds are disproportionately affected. They are either dropping out or finding it very difficult to cope with the digital divide,” said Bhavya Sudhir, student of TISS.

Zeba Patel of TISS had a similar story. “We are facing a lot of infrastructure issues. Not everyone is able to afford laptops and internet connection because of which lectures are missed, so a hindrance in the entire learning experience. This is affecting us mentally as well as physically,” Zeba said.

Another student Chirithra J Lala says, “I face a lot of internet connection issues due to which I cannot attend the lectures properly. When the faculty arranged meeting for the issues we students were facing, I couldn’t attend that also properly. Either my voice wouldn’t be audible to them or their voice would be to me.”

“As social sciences graduates, we are missing out on the fieldwork, which is the most important part of our curriculum. Another important issue is the access to the library. We are provided with a digital library but again, it doesn’t work sometimes because of internet problems,” Chiritha added.

Also Read: FPJ Legal: Supreme Court asks IIT Bombay to allot seat to Dalit boy in 48 hours

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