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Students shut down college

Siliguri, Sept. 19: Students today shut down Acharya Prafulla Chandra Roy Government College at Matigara indefinitely, demanding adequate teachers, lab assistants and librarians.

The college that was opened in 2010 offers honours under-graduate courses in chemistry, physics, zoology, mathematics, botany, English and Bengali.

The science students said classes were held only two days a week as the college didn’t have the required number of teachers. “There are seven sanctioned posts in each of the science departments, but only two associate professors are posted for a subject. Classes for science streams are held only two days a week, as there are not enough faculty members. Major portions of the syllabus are not touched by the teachers and we have to study on our own. This will result in poor performance during the exams,” said Pritam Dey, a third-year under-graduate student of physics.

Classes are held regularly for English and Bengali students, though only part-time teachers are appointed in the two departments.

The college also lacked employees like lab assistants and librarians. “There hasn’t been a single lab assistant in physics, chemistry, botany and zoology departments since the college was established. The students have to conduct experiments on their own as nobody is in the lab to help them. We don’t know what books are available in the library, as the institution doesn’t have a librarian,” said Saptarshi Dey, a third-year student of botany.

Shantanu Chakraborty, the officer-in-charge of the college, said officials in the state higher education department had already been apprised of the vacancies. “The officials have informed us that the situation was conveyed to state higher education minister Bratya Basu and the problem will be resolved soon.”