The Telegraph
Monday , September 24 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Visva boycott threat over class timings

- Students of two departments write to VC to retain earlier routine

Santiniketan, Sept. 23: Over 4,000 students of two Visva-Bharati departments have complained that its all work and no play for them.

The students of Vidya Bhavan and Bhasha Bhavan said they had written to vice-chancellor Sushanta Duttagupta that they would boycott classes from tomorrow if the university do not return to the old schedule.

The varsity adopted the new routine from August 1.

“Under the new schedule, we find it difficult to go to the library. We are tied down in our classes till 5.45pm and the library closes at 6.30pm. There is no drinking water facility and no proper canteen in our department. If we are kept in the classes for so long, the varsity should ensure these facilities. We are also not getting time for sports and games,” said a student of Vidya Bhavan.

“We have decided to boycott classes from tomorrow until our demands are met. We have discussed our problems with our teachers and wrote to the vice-chancellor. But the matter is yet to be addressed. We want the old schedule back,” said Jamshed Ali Khan, an MA first-year student of Arabic department.

Another student said the VC had instructed them to discuss their problems with teachers of their respective bhavans.

“We talked to the teachers but didn’t get any assurance on whether the university would return to the old schedule. So, we will boycott classes,” he said.

Earlier, classes at Vidya Bhavan and Bhasha Bhavan started at 6.30am and gave over at 12.30pm. But according to the new timings from August 1, classes are being held from 9.30am to 5.45pm.

The Vidya Bhavan (humanities department) and Bhasha Bhavan (language department) have around 4,700 students.

Visva-Bharati spokesperson Amrit Sen said: “I am not aware of students wanting to boycott classes in Vidya Bhavan or Bhasha Bhavan from tomorrow.”

In August, students of agricultural science department had boycotted classes for over a week demanding the old schedule.

The students had said that under the old schedule, they had their practical classes from 6.30am to 8.30am. They returned to their hostels for a bath and food when their classes started from 10.30am. But under the new five-day week timings, all classes begin at 9.30am.

The students had withdrawn their boycott only after the authorities increased the lunch break by 30 minutes from 1.30 pm to 2.30 pm.