Delhi University Reopening: A Sigh Of Relief Or Distress?

Delhi University Reopening: University of Delhi ruled out its notice regarding reopening of its colleges on February 9 after several students protested demanding offline classes to resume. The University declared for colleges to decide on the reopening procedure and commence the offline mode of teaching as soon as February 17, 2022. While for some it has been a sigh of relief to finally start with their college life, others have been anxious about the University’s hasty decision.

Delhi University opened its gates on February 17, 2022 for the students of undergraduate and post-graduate courses. The notice issued by the authorities also mentioned that the outstation students will have to complete a three-day isolation period before coming back to classes. While the Delhi University took the decision to reopen the colleges a lot later than other universities in Delhi, it has created a sense of commotion in the minds of its students because of under-planning and lack of communication between teachers-students-university.

The commotion caused by the Delhi University reopening left the students wondering about many answered questions. While some complain of having the decision been “imposed” on them because of certain protests, others believe that the University should have provided more time to mentally and physically prepare oneself to go back to offline classes.

A student from Shyama Prasad Mukherji College for Women stated the inefficiency of the authorities as they gave just a week’s time for students who haven’t seen the colleges for two years to prepare for the offline mode.

“There’s no proper management or system followed at all. What about those who are suffering from COVID-19? They won’t be able to attend colleges anyways.” She questioned as she demanded that the university could have given the option of hybrid mode of teaching.

Another female student studying literature at Daulat Ram College said, “I am all up for reopening but the way they took this decision, under the pressure of the protestors, was wrong. If they are reopening, there has to be a system to pursue it. You cannot issue a notice randomly asking to reach college the very next week.”

Another student from the same college mentioned the mental toll of dealing with such a rushed decision shattered their excitement of attending the college for the very firs time. “It is not as pleasant and happy as I thought it to be. It’s wrong on so many levels because so many students had to rush from different states. Plus, all of us had so many hopes and expectations regarding going to college. It all got shattered and I’m not happy.”

Being a national university, Delhi University is among the top institutions for higher studies in India and welcome students from all over the country. While most of the outstation students were looking forward towards a new life at the university and exploring the Indian capital, all of their excitement took a back seat with the stress of finding an accommodation as early as possible while also preparing to shift to an anonymous city at such short notice.

Divyanshi, an outstation literature student said that she is glad the college is reopening but also mentioned her concerns regarding increasing accommodation rates. “It was high time they reopened. But we couldn’t get the time to prepare initially. The PG rates have been touching the sky since the demand sky-rocketed all of a sudden.” She said.

The mother of an outstation student of Dyal Singh College remarked, “it has been so hectic since the day the university decided to reopen the colleges. I have been running back and forth to make all the arrangements. Seeing our child leave home and live away is already hard enough and the suddenness of this decision has increased the burden even more. They could have given us a bigger time window to sort things out, there was no rush. The students were only demanding to resume offline classes, even if they had reopened the next month, it wouldn’t have been a big deal either.”

An assistant professor from DU North Campus stated, “the unpreparedness demonstrated by DU in reopening of colleges is going to impact everyone. It took a lot of time to make online mode as the new mode of normalcy but the sudden switch to offline classes is not well-thought.” The professor also remarked that the sudden move has put undue burden on the teachers just as well as the students and their parents.

The COVID-19 distress has made all of us comfortable within the confinement of our homes more or less as it has impacted our social skills while limiting our physical interactions. Being a student of Delhi University myself, it is a bitter-sweet feeling to finally have the colleges reopen yet not feel any excitement about it. While I’m looking forward to the experience of a new life and the challenges it is going to bring, I am equally anxious about the social interaction and coping up with the offline classes, the ‘new’ normal, again and the sudden news of Delhi University reopening has left me somewhat confused about my emotions on the top of it. Yet, the silver-lining remains that the college life is finally happening for us!