Darjeeling, Sept. 29: The Gorkha Janmukti Vidyarthi Morcha has called a strike in all the 15 colleges across the hills from tomorrow till October 5 to fulfil several demands the outfit had placed before North Bengal University.
The strike is a fallout of the poor results in Part I and Part II exams of undergraduate courses recently, sparking protests from the students as well as the teaching fraternity, who had accused the NBU of gross negligence.
Nima Sherpa, the press and publicity secretary of the student wing of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, said they had a prolonged meeting today at Darjeeling Government College with those representing the hill colleges in the NBU’s executive council and the under-graduate council.
“None of them could give us satisfactory answers regarding the poor results and other demands that we had raised from time to time. We have called the strike as a last resort and we will not allow the salaries of the teachers and the non-teaching staff to be disbursed during the period,” said Sherpa.
Many institutions like Darjeeling Government College had registered a pass percentage of only about 30 in the exams. Barring Ghoom-Jorebunglow Degree College and Southfield College, results were pathetic in other institutions also.
Sherpa also said the students were demanding a change in the academic session of the colleges on the lines of the schools in the hills. At present, the academic year of the schools begins in March and ends in November, while classes are held in the colleges from July to April.
“We also demand that the NBU’s exam timings be also changed. The varsity holds exams from 2pm and 5pm, making it very difficult for students to return home, especially in remote places because of lack of transport,” said Nima.
He said the NBU had not yet responded to the demand for the reassessment of Part I and Part II exam answer papers without fees. “We had given the NBU time till tomorrow to respond and they have not said anything yet. They have also shown little compassion for students from the hills as many of them had failed in exams by just a single mark. If there is no response to these demands, the strike will continue beyond October 5,” he said.
However, the Vidyarthi Morcha will allow the MSc post-graduate exams slated for October 1 and 4 to take place.