New Delhi: Student leaders from Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI), Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), and Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) on Thursday demanded the reopening of campuses.
The student activists speaking at a joint press conference organized by the Students Islamic Organization (SIO) at the press club of India also urged the state and central governments to provide concession in fees to students who are facing financial constraints due to the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown.
SIO observed Thursday as the ‘National Protest Day,’ and held a protest in front of JMI University to push authorities to resume the physical classes at the university. The organization has been staging agitations across the country in different universities to get the authorities to reopen the universities.
Student leaders in a joint statement also advocated for a special economic package to provide remedial measures for the huge academic loss and vaccination for all the students, teachers, and staff.
“Now that COVID-19 cases are decreasing across the country, with a few exceptions, and life is returning to some semblance of normalcy in most areas, there is an urgent need to reopen campuses,” the press statement read. However, the student activists remarked that the authorities are not serious about it.
They demanded institutes to facilitate education on campus while following health protocols and restrictions.
The student leaders also pointed out that the country is facing acute economic distress. However, they alleged, “rather than alleviating the pain of students, many of the educational institutions are still charging fees for facilities like libraries, laboratories, and other campus activities.”
“All the unnecessary fees be waived by the government and institutes,” demanded the student activists.
SIO Secretary-General Syed Muzakkir, anti-CAA movement leader and JMI graduate Asif Iqbal Tanha, JNU Councilor Afreen Fatima, AMU student Abdul Wadood and Director of Center for Educational Research and Training (CERT) Adv. Fawaz Shaheen participated in the press conference