A majority of IIT Delhi students surveyed by the Board of Student Welfare have said they want the current semester to be halted for now due to the stress they are under because of the Covid situation in the country. Students have suggested that the rest of the semester be conducted in July.
The board had surveyed 450 students on April 19. A statement from the board said that of the respondents, around 64% had family members suffering from Covid, and 14% of the students were themselves infected. Out these, the statement said, 85% were at home and 12% lodged at government facilities.
The survey asked students about their well-being and 34% said they were not good but could cope, 21% said that the recent rimes were very, very harsh, 16% said times were not good and they needed help; 16% said they felt they were doing better than others and only 10% said they had no problems.
Most students said since they or their family members were suffering from Covid, they were having difficulty attending online classes and doing regular assignments.
“The mental peace of the students is degrading, seeing the number of cases and difficulties faced after you test positive (medicines not available, beds not available),” the statement said.
“Some are stressed because they are unable to find jobs or internships which are very important for them at this point… Many underperformed in minors (exams) due to the stressful environment,” it added.
Students also said they felt they are not getting much help as “professors have not been very lenient and have been giving strict deadlines for almost all courses. In scenarios like these, if a student has Covid themselves or someone in their family has it, they miss out on a lot, which ultimately affects their grades significantly,” said the statement.
Among other suggestions was a 7-10 day break immediately to cope with the present situation, anxiety and stress; taking regular feedback from students reduction in academic pressure; welfare sessions to mental health and reduction in financial burden.
“We had been hearing from individual students about the difficulties that they are facing: health, financial, academic, personal. So we requested the Board of student welfare to reach out informally to them to get a better sense of how they are doing and what we might all do together to cope with the situation. We’re exploring various options and hope to make some announcement to the IIT Delhi community very soon,” said Professor Reetika Khera, associate dean Students Welfare.