Jadavpur University Teachers’ Body Urges Bengal Govt to Vaccinate Students, Reopen Varsity

An association of teachers of Jadavpur University (JU) on Monday wrote to West Bengal Education Minister Bratya Basu, urging him to take immediate steps for COVID vaccination of students and researchers to reopen the institute. In the first phase, final year students can be allowed to attend physical classes in separate batches after administering vaccine jabs to them, Jadavpur University Teachers’ Association said in a letter to Basu.

It also requested him to allow resumption of research activities in the varsity. “We demand immediate COVID-19 vaccination for research scholars and students as a preparatory step for reopening the campus,” JUTA general secretary Partha Pratim Roy said.

Demanding commencement of physical classes for students whose studies have been suffered for almost 18 months, the teachers’ body also urged the minister to allow on-campus inoculation camps for those who have not received jabs. Roy said online teaching cannot be alternative to physical classes, and laboratory-based subjects cannot be taught through virtual mode.

“You might be aware that instruments are lying idle at our university’s laboratories for a long time. Many are no longer functioning properly. If these high-value instruments are not used, it leads to a loss of lakhs of rupees, which is a sheer wastage of public money,” the teachers’ body said in the letter to Basu.

Meanwhile, a section of JU students owing allegiance to SFI and other unions on Monday held a demonstration in front of the administrative building of the varsity, demanding reopening the campus and shouted slogans against the authorities. Presidency University Students’ Union also submitted a memorandum to the authorities and demanded on-campus vaccination for free.

Noting that inoculation of students will facilitate the resumption of activities on the campus, the SFI-controlled students’ body said, “It has been 539 days since closing down our campus due to the COVID-19 outbreak.” Alleging that the university authorities” have not made efforts to reopen the institute” even though the second wave of COVID-19 subsided, the union’s president Mimosa Ghorai said the administration must form a committee to discuss and take decisions on restarting of on-campus activities. The union urged the authorities to provide access to library services as students are facing problems without the facility. SFI also organised a demonstration in front of the main gate of Presidency University to press for its demands.

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