NEW DELHI: Hundreds of laptops bought at the time when Delhi University had introduced Four- Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP) may now help the students attend online classes in the times of Covid-19 as DU colleges are planning to issue the laptops, free data card and other resources for accessing the virtual lessons.
Due to the pandemic, the college campuses have been closed for more than six months. The students who had gone back to their hometowns are now struggling to attend the online classes due to lack of access to laptops and smartphones, poor network and poor internet connection.
Some colleges such as Rajdhani College, Miranda House, Arya Bhatta, Ramjas and others are working on ways to help the needy students with resources as per their capabilities.
The FYUP programme was introduced in 2013-14 under which nearly 50,000-60,000 laptops were procured by the university for the first-year students and 600-700 laptops were issued to each college.
According to some DU officials, hundreds of laptops are lying unused in many colleges after the FYUP programme was scrapped in 2014. The Rajdhani College has written to its governing body seeking approval to issue laptops to the disadvantaged students.
Spare laptops issued to ensure hassle-free online classes for DU students, teachers
“WE recently held a survey regarding access to study materials and problems arising in accessing online classes, and 70 per cent of the students said they are facing network issues and problems due to lack of laptops and smartphones. We thought the laptops lying unused in the colleges will be helpful for the financially week students,” said Ananad Prakash, chemistry teacher as well as convener of Yuva social welfare and youth development society of Rajdhani College.
Prakash added that the college had at least 300-400 sppare laptops.
“We have written to our principal who has sent a proposal to the new governing body for approval. Once the clearance comes, the students in need will be asked to come to the college and the laptops as well as study materials will be issued to them.”
Miranda College is, in addition, upgrading the software of the laptops and has sought corporate help for lending laptops to students.
“Some of the laptops procured under FYUP were issued to the final-year students who could not return them due to the pandemic while the remaining laptops are given for upgradation with new softwares and functions. Once upgraded, they will be distributed to the students on request. We have 4,000 students and the existing laptops are very less in number. So, I have also written to corporates for resources and alumni are also coming forward to help the needy students with laptops and tablets,” said Bijayalaxmi Nanda, principal, Miranda House.
“Apart from laptops, we are looking after the budgets and funds to issue data cards and tablets to the needy students. We are looking into girl child education policy and other facilities through which the college can help the students,” added Nanda.
Manoj Sinha, Principal, Arya Bhatta College, said, “In my college, the scheme is already functioning and we have also issued laptops to many students of second and final years, but due to Covid-19, the intake is less. If earlier 400 students were issued laptops, only 100 were issued this time as the process needs physical presence. We have asked the newcomers that the students in need can get the laptops, books and study materials issued from the library.”
Sinha said the college is also lending laptops to teachers as they, too, are facing problems in taking online classes.
Many have only one laptop at home which their other family members also need and they are forced to take classes through smartphones, which causes limitations, he added.