Higher Education

Higher Education

Lectures on hold, exams round the corner, Sinhagad students ask for help on social media

PUBLISH DATE 10th February 2018

As the stand-off between teachers and management of Sinhagad Technical Education Society entered its third week, students took to social media to highlight the loss of study time. On Thursday and Friday, posts appeared on Facebook and Twitter, in which students spoke about the teachers’ strike and the loss of studies. They appealed the government and public to help them out.

While many students met their heads of departments on Thursday to get clarity on lecture schedules and in-semester examinations conducted by the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU), some students said lack of official information was fuelling the rumour mills.

“Since the teachers went on strike, no one from the management has directly addressed the students, but we are the ones who are worst-affected. They just keep telling us that the issue will be resolved and we should not worry. But every day, things seem to be getting worse,” said a third-year engineering student.

A second-year mechanical engineering student of the Wadgaon campus said various rumours have been circulating on campus for the past two days. “Actually, the university has a minimum 75 per cent attendance. Since we didn’t have regular lectures, we fear that the entire batch will be made to undergo mass detention. Another problem is the in-semester examination, which is scheduled in the first week of March (the dates are decided by SPPU). Even a third of the syllabus has not been covered till now and the practicals and submissions are pending. We don’t know what will happen in these exams,” he said.

One of the rumours is that the students would be transferred to other colleges.

Another student of the same campus said, “When we asked our head of department, he told us not to worry as students won’t be transferred to other colleges. For now, we have decided that all students will come to college and sit in classrooms from Monday for lectures. Uptil now, even students were not coming to classes since the teachers were on strike. But we are the ones facing academic loss, so we have decided to come and wait in class,” he said.

One student wrote to the Director of Technical Education (DTE) on February 6, pointing out the 75 per cent attendance rule, and stated that students have been sitting in classrooms and waiting for teachers, who don’t come and teach. The student has requested the director to make SPPU postpone the exam date. In response, the joint director of DTE, Pune, sent a letter to SPPU on February 8, asking university authorities to take appropriate action and immediately intervene, taking into account the academic loss faced by students.

On Monday, representatives of the striking teachers approached officials at DTE’s Mumbai office and even went to Mantralaya. “We met DTE Director Abhay Wagh and are now trying to meet state Education Minister Vinod Tawde and Ravindra Waikar, minister of state for higher and technical education. We hope the government will intervene now,” said Sachin Shinde, a representative of striking teachers.

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