Students forced to travel long distances to attend classes

Many have asked how colleges and universities can reopen without hostels opening up for first-year students. File photo   | Photo Credit: The Hindu Photo Library

First-year students pursuing undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, particularly those from rural areas, are finding it difficult to attend classes on campus as hostels run by the Minorities Department and the Backward Classes Welfare Department (BCWD) have yet to call for applications.

Ever since physical classes for intermediate semesters began on January 16, many students have been spending over two hours travelling to their colleges as they do not have alternative accommodation nearby. “With all this travelling to and from the campus, we are missing the first lectures,” said a student. Others are continuing with online classes until applications for hostels open.

A first-year student enrolled in the postgraduate centre at Vijayanagara Sri Krishnadevaraya University, Ballari, pointed out that he had to travel 140 km every day from his village in Kushtagi taluk to the PG centre. “I have to leave home as early as 6 a.m. to get to the college on time. It is risky travelling such long distances during the pandemic. I do not want to put my health at risk. At the same time, I want to attend classes. How can colleges and varsities reopen without hostels opening up for first-year students?” he asked.

Another student, who wants to apply to a BCM hostel and studies at the Dakshina Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha’s Law College, Koppal, said that the pandemic had acted as an impediment to those who want to pursue higher education. “Many students will be forced to drop out if hostel facility is not provided at the earliest,” he said.

Amaresh Kadaga, State president, Students’ Federation of India, said that this was a hardship faced by students across the State. The federation has raised the issue with the authorities, urging them to admit first-year students into hostels immediately. “If the departments do not act quickly, we will carry out a State-wide agitation,” he said.

A senior official of the Higher Education Department said that while hostels run by the Social Welfare Department were admitting students, those run by minorities and BCWD were yet to open admissions to their hostels. “We will pursue the matter with the departments and ensure that students are admitted at the earliest,” the official said.

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Printable version | Mar 9, 2021 11:24:41 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/students-forced-to-travel-long-distances-to-attend-classes/article33639016.ece

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