GUWAHATI, June 16 - The National Students� Union of India (NSUI) has called upon the State government to take steps to automatically promote students of universities and colleges of Assam on account of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The Assam unit of NSUI has sent a letter to Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal in this regard.
NSUI thanked the State government for agreeing to waive the admission fees of all the students in the State universities in the upcoming semester and said that this move would bring in a positive change and would an impetus to the students belonging to the poor and backward communities to pursue their dreams in post-COVID times.
At the same time, the student body urged the government to effect compulsory promotion of the students who are facing extreme uncertainties and mental pressure due to the lockdown as they do not know the present status of their classes and examinations.
In the letter the NSUI unit referred to the demand made by a large number of students that the administrations of universities wind up the ongoing semesters this month itself and continue with the subsequent semesters at the earliest once lockdown measures are removed.
�The present experimentation with online classes has not been successful across Assam as students belonging to interior rural areas are facing difficulty with connectivity, making online classes and scope of online examinations a luxury available to only few,� the letter said.
It also said that with the pandemic situation in Assam getting worse day by day, it is now one of the most vulnerable states. As such, any attempt to conduct �physical examination� in the present situation could lead to spread of community transmission.
�Also, hostel facilities across the universities of Assam have been transformed into quarantine centres. Making students come back and reside in such quarantine zones at a time when the pandemic continues, will put their lives in extreme danger. Beyond COVID-19, Assam is under threat of yearly flood as well during the present monsoon season, making travelling of students from far-off places extremely difficult. Hence in the students� interest, it is requested that your authority kindly consider the option of compulsory promotion of students in 1st and 2nd years to their subsequent semesters. Also, consider that the final year students should be allowed to graduate based on the performance in previous years with an additional 10 per cent marks,� it said adding that this would ensure every student could graduate in time without risking their health and safety as also of their families.
The organisation also requested the government to waive the interest on education loans for at least six months pointing out that students across the spectrum are under acute financial distress due to the lockdown. Most students are dependent on their families or have taken educational loan to fund their education. Even though no semester classes have been conducted, the students still have to pay fees, the NSUI unit said.
�...Students have come forward to us stating that if no fee waiver is provided, they have to drop out of their higher education to look for manual jobs in order to sustain themselves and their families. Hence in their interest, kindly waive their fees under the financial packages provided by the Central government,� the NSUI letter added.