THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: It’s a bad news for the students at the teaching departments under the University of Kerala. The suspension of regular classes which began on December 6 will continue till January end, thanks to the lethargic attitude of the University authorities.
The PG and MPhil classes were suspended for the renovation works of the ladies’ hostel, which was functioning temporarily in the men’s hostel building. The girl students were shifted to the men’s hostel after a portion of the original building of the ladies’ hostel collapsed in November, 2008.
The students had complained of the poor condition of the building even at the time of shifting. It was also pointed out that the structure, designed as a boys’ hostel, was unsafe for girl students.
Protest is mounting among the students and parents over the University’s attitude towards the future of the students. Aggrieved, the SFI unit on the campus has announced that it would block entry to the campus from Monday.
‘’The University has taken a highly condemnable stand. At the time of closure, the authorities had claimed that the renovation works on all the four hostel buildings will be carried out a war footing. But works began only on the girls’ hostel building (old men’s hostel) and the authorities even couldn’t finish that work,’’ said Joshy John, SFI district committee member and a research scholar at the Psychology Department.
‘’The University received ` 2.30 crore from the State Government and ` 1 crore from the UGC for hostel renovation works in 2009. But it is yet to execute the works,’’ Joshy said. The students also fear that the lagging of courses would hinder their chances for higher studies in reputed institutions.
‘’We were told that the classes would begin by January 1. But the University is asking us to wait for another month. It seems that they don’t have the least care for us,’’ said a third semester PG student of the Botany Department who didn’t want to be named.
The University had assigned the works with the construction wing of the BSNL as per a Syndicate decision on December 14. That the works were awarded to the BSNL wing overlooking the University Engineering Division was then claimed to be for ‘speedy and efficient’ implementation. Unfortunately, the works failed to gain momentum initially owing to the delay on the part of the University in sanctioning funds.
‘’The works are progressing well now and will be finished by month-end,’’ said Dr K L Vivekanandan, member of the committee formed by the University to monitor the works.
‘’The works include chipping, re-plastering, toilet renovation and reinforcing the sunshade at some places,’’ he said.
Though the four hostel buildings on the campus were in a poor condition for long, it took a building collapse for the authorities to wake up.
Following the incident, the inmates of the men’s hostel were shifted to the nearby teachers’ hostel to accommodate the girl students.