Mumbai: More than 3,700 students have signed an online petition started by Telangana Vidyarthi Vedika (TVV) which has accused that Sri Chaitanya and Narayana colleges are killing students for the ranks which would earn them profits and hence the Telangana government should ban them with immediate effect.
The two institutes which have branches in different parts of the country including Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have been criticised for the harsh conditions that they put their students through.
A letter along with the petition, which is addressed to the parents of students, states, “You always strive to get a good education for your children to ensure a better future. You enrol your children into big corporate colleges like Sri Chaitanya and Narayana, because you think they are good by looking at their advertisements about their ranks in competitive exams. However, these corporate colleges are killing your children for the ranks.”
Claiming that a large number of students who study in these institutes are never able to crack competitive exams, the online petition claimed that “their idea of a ‘good’ education itself is problematic.”
“Sri Chaitanya and Narayana advertise good infrastructure which they have in one or two main branches, but they have suffocating classrooms with no proper lighting in their smaller branches. They make a huge number of students sit in those cramped classrooms and have no labs for practicals. They make students study for 16 hours in a day, without proper sleep. Students have to go through mental trauma and psychological unrest that pushes them to suicide,” the petition states.
“Sri Chaitanya and Narayana hostels are like jails, rather than academic spaces. Nearly 18 students stay in a small room, with no right to question about the food. Students have to get up by 4 am and study till 11 pm without holiday. The sexual harassment which girl students have to go through is also countless,” the petition says.
Claiming that 47 students killed themselves in 2017 from these two institutes alone, the petition says, "In 2001 government appointed Niradareddy committee to look into the complaints on Sri Chaitanya and Narayana colleges. This committee reported to the government that these colleges are treating students inhumanly. The committee also suggested for only 9 hours study and give some time for games and other activities. Niradareddy Committee brought out the reasons why students in Sri Chaitanya and Narayana committing suicides. But the government has taken no action against Sri Chaitanya and Narayana colleges."
Several attempts to contact the administrations of the two colleges failed, Hence it could not be immediately known whether the institutions have taken note of these petitions or not. Meanwhile, some past students have also extended their support to the petition.
In January 2018, a division bench of the Hyderabad High Court on Tuesday issued notices to the governments of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and to Narayana and Sri Chaitanya colleges to respond to a PIL pertaining to student suicides at private colleges in the recent past.
Back in 2016, the Sanjeeva Reddy Nagar police in Hyderabad had arrested Dora Babu, the teacher at Sri Chaitanya Junior College who was accused of beating up students and injuring them. During the investigation, Dora Babu, 37, told the police that he was frustrated because the students got very poor marks in the subject he taught.
Interestingly in the last few months a series of petitions have been filed against the two institutions, all accusing them exerting undue stress on the students and imposing IT tools such as tablet computers and iPads without the needed precautions.
"Using Tablets and iPads in education is not in itself a bad idea, but it’s essential to couple the technology to a proper understanding of pedagogy. The current approach of just throwing tablets into classrooms and seeing that happens is poor and will have negative consequences", says one such petition while the other titled "Don't introduce Tablet computers(iPads/tabs etc) for school kids of Sri Chaitanya Techno School, Bangalore" also raises similar concerns.
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