With colleges still closed following the anti-Sri Lanka stir, many are postponing their convocations

Last year’s graduates of private engineering colleges are in a bit of a fix.

With the anti-Sri Lanka protests leading to the unanticipated closure of colleges across the State, these graduates may not get their degree certificates on time.

Convocation ceremonies, scheduled to be held in many colleges in the last two weeks of March, have been either postponed or cancelled, because college officials feel it is not advisable to hold the functions at present.

Officials in many colleges said they had to reschedule graduation ceremonies from March to April because they do not want to risk inviting scientists or other renowned achievers as chief guests, to the State at this time.

“We changed the date to April because we wanted to be assured of our guests’ and students’ safety,” said the principal of a city college.

However, graduates are worried because many of them, working in various cities, had already made plans for the ceremony.

“I had booked my tickets for my graduation this week. But now the college has postponed it. It might be difficult for me to make travel arrangements and come back later,” said a student of St. Joseph’s College.

Anna University organised its convocation on March 8, and convocation days for its constituent colleges are to be held on March 28. Though graduates of these colleges too are anxious about the ceremony considering colleges have not reopened yet, Vice Chancellor P. Kaliraj said the functions would be held as scheduled.

Some colleges have also cancelled their convocation ceremonies following demands from their own students.

“Our students actively took part in the anti-Sri Lanka agitations and they have shunned all forms of celebration at present. We have no choice but to go along with their demands to ensure safety,” said the principal of a college in Kelambakkam.

Calendars of colleges are generally full up in March, with activities including college days, annual days, sports days and other events. “Our rehearsals for annual day were in full swing when the college was closed down,” said a student from the RMK group of institutions.

“Also, because we have already lost over 15 days, we might have to cut short on many festivities to ensure the students get sufficient study holidays and vacations after exams said K. Aruldhoss, associate professor at a college in Korattur.

Teachers in most colleges also said there needs to be some clarity about the reopening of colleges.

“We are being told that meetings are being held every day with college officials to decide on the reopening date, but nobody from the teachers’ unions is in these meetings. We know what the concerns of teachers and students are, and it would be good if we could be heard,” said M. Ravichandran, vice president, All India Federation of University and College Teachers.

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