Christmas vacation is still days away but pre-university (PU) colleges in the city already wear a deserted look, more so the aided and government colleges. Abandoned classrooms and campuses greet visitors as the indefinite strike called by PU teachers is set to complete a week.
With no resolution in sight, it looks like a long haul for the students who are at a loose end. “We really want classes to start as soon as possible. We come to college, wait for an hour or two, hoping that classes would be conducted. We've been disappointed every day for the past week. Though the syllabus completion is moving along smoothly, we need the classes as we are II PU students. I hope this boycott ends soon,” said Radha S., a II year PU student at the Domlur Government College.
Here, students have been killing time playing cricket to compensate the effort in travelling all the way to college, only to be greeted by empty classrooms. At the Basavangudi Government PU College too, there is not a soul in sight.
Another factor that is bugging the youngsters is the prospect of weekend class to make up for lost time once the strike is called off. “We definitely don't want to come to college on Sundays, mainly when it is a special class. We slog all and we too need a day off,” said Vishal S. Malagi of Seshadripuram PU College.
Rashmi V. Mahesh, Director of the Department of Pre-University Education, had criticised the strike, saying it was timed just months before the examinations.
Parents too are anxious. “It's unfortunate that classes are not being held. I don't think there is any other way out for the lecturers as well. I think the Government should look into this matter seriously,” said B. Sadanayyappa, parent of one of the students at the Domlur Government College.
In contrast, it's business as usual in unaided colleges, though teachers there readily pledge their support to the strike. “There has always been a certain disparity in salaries. We teachers are the silent lot and end up being victims. Even though we are an unaided college, we support this cause as there seems to be no other option left,” said Vincent, vice-principal of St. Joseph's PU College.