Re-open NIFT Campuses from the next semester

Re-open NIFT Campuses from the next semester

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n m started this petition to Education and

when it was decided to shut down educational institutions in march, we appreciated the caution on behalf of our communities. however, the students are being left behind while the rest of the country returns to normal. 

★ colleges are an essential service ★ 

colleges are safe places for students to grow cognitively, emotionally, and socially.
As NIFT provides courses that are highly practical, it has been incredibly difficult for students to practice distance-learning effectively. with the garment construction and accessory design labs with access to dressforms and sewing machines being an essential and integral part of our learning process at NIFT, our education has been highly impacted due to the pandemic. teachers are unable to provide tailored support to students on an individual level, it has been hard if not impossible for constructive criticism and feedback to be provided.
students of a reputed college like NIFT, that has produced talented designers for the fashion industry, has now been reduced to an institution that imparts learning through whatsapp videos and glitchy zoom sessions which keep disconnecting. we were grateful  for this considering the sudden pandemic, but why should we continue the same while we pay approximately 1.3 lakhs (non-nri students) each semester?
why is our education not being considered a priority while restaurants and shopping malls and clubs are allowed to function?
our 'online classes' with the network issues and a plethora of other technical problems has stolen a productive semester away from us, and left us confused and riddled with doubts and fear of our proffessional future.

it seems impossible for NIFT and other design colleges with practically oriented courses like ours to continue like this.

with a developed public health plan which include safety precautions, like hand sanitising and temperature checks and the use of masks, the reopening of college and university campuses from the next semester should be a national priority.

it should be kept in mind that covid-19 is NOT as deadly as we thought it was, initially. the data shows that young and healthy people are almost at zero risk of dying from COVID-19.
moreover, the CDC report from the US shows that 94% of patients who died from COVID-19 also had, on average, 2.6 comorbidities. in India, the mortality rate has been one of the lowest: 3.02%.

students are adults who are aware of the risks, and being isolated on campus, away from the city (like in the case of NIFT jodhpur) and high-risk older family members would actually be beneficial to us.

apart from education, there are other reasons that should be considered as well:

1) mental health: there has been an increase in self-harm and suicide ideation among people including the youth, since the Covid-19 pandemic hit, says a study ‘Covid-19 Blues’ conducted by Bengaluru-based Suicide Prevention India Foundation (SPIF). socialising and the return to a normal routine will most definitely help prevent this spike in suicide cases among the youth from aggravating.
2) inequality: while most of us had access to online classes, we left behind a lot of low income students who have not had the privelege or means to reliable internet access or private spaces to study in. we also forgot the students with learning disabilities. everyone deserves equal access to quality education.
3) campuses can begin the process of achieving herd immunity, says AIIMS professors.

NIFT must be reopened from the next semester in 2021 with the option for 100% in-person learning! in-person attendance should be voluntary in case of the students that wish to continue digitally. the only other option would be to postpone the semester until it is possible to re-open in person, where we have access to the facilities that we are paying so much for.

it is a need now to gather the resources and expertise to make it possible to reopen the campuses by the next semester. us students, our future, our careers, the cultivation of our proffessional skills, and our local economies, depend on it.

 

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