Students from inland parts of Maharashtra cannot take offline courses in colleges

Colleges in Mumbai restarted offline classes earlier this month, but several students from inland parts of the state, who come here to study, cannot attend physical classes as the state has not yet developed a policy on the operation of hostels.

Mahesh Jagtap of Bhawanwadi in Beed was admitted to the Theater Arts course at Mumbai University this year. Offline conferences have already started earlier this month, but he must attend in online mode. In the absence of a youth hostel, there is no other way for him to secure accommodation in the city. “My course includes practical work and group activities, which I completely miss because I have to attend online,” Jagtap said, adding that the hostel is the only affordable accommodation for him because his parents are workers.

Jagtap is just one example of several such students, who are missing out on academics because even though offline classes have started, the lack of a hostel policy has forced them to stay away from Mumbai.

Ishwar Narode Patil from Shimlegaon near Aurangabad, who is a final year law student at Government Law College, is keen for hostels to start as there is only the last semester of his course left.

“I was admitted in 2019 and was assigned a hostel room. Shortly after the lockdown started, hostels were closed and we have been attending online conferences ever since. Due to internet and electricity issues in my area, e-learning is not a justified option for me. Now that offline classes have been allowed, we should all be able to come back to the hostel,” Patil said.

Six hostels run by Mumbai University have never reopened since being shuttered with the lockdown announcement. Homes run by the Department of Social Welfare abruptly halted the admissions process.

After a series of inquiries from students and organizations working for students from marginalized backgrounds, the Department of Social Welfare has started the registration process for hostel accommodation at its six hostels in Mumbai. But after the first list of awards was declared in December; the process stopped with the declaration of a recent confinement.

“The process never resumed. Even though I had been assigned a room, I was not allowed to come to the hostel. Anyway, I’m here to claim my room. But due to procedural delays, there is no canteen or mess hall here, which makes survival more difficult,” said Dikha Ahire, a native of Nashik and a resident of the Department-run Worli Girls hostel. of social protection.

Three other allocation lists are pending.

Betty K. Park