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Delhi University Reopens, But Where Are the Students?

COVID, expense of living in Delhi, preference for offline exams: Students' few big reasons to not return to college.

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The University of Delhi officially resumed its offline classes for final year undergraduate and postgraduate Science students on Wednesday, 15 September. However, a majority of these students who are supposed to attend offline practical classes prefer online lectures instead.

Most colleges in the DU campus have still not opened their hostels or campuses because it is not mandatory. The University Grants Commission has allowed the colleges to open if they want, but has left it to the college administrations' discretion whether they want to continue with online classes or switch to the 'hybrid' mode.

Colleges have also sought consent and preferences from students and their parents, a majority of whom say they'd rather attend all lectures online.

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For many who live outside the city, coming back and starting offline classes would mean finding accommodation first, which is an arduous task. Added living expenses are a deterrent for many, while others are still unsure about re-entering colleges in the midst of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

And given the University 'autumn breaks' that are nearing, this situation might prevail for at least a few more weeks. The students are also hoping that till then their colleges might give them more clarity on critical issues like attendance, hostel accommodation, and equally important, COVID-19-related protocols, from masking and social distancing, and even quarantine and contact tracing rules in case a student or faculty member or any other college staff member, tests positive.

While the university has allowed for the phased reopening of its campus, neither the colleges nor the students seem to be ready yet, and so, this ‘phased reopening’ might go a lot slower than expected.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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