Government colleges in Karnataka reopened the doors to conduct offline classes with necessary COVID-19 precautions in place. Reports pointed out that colleges have resumed activities for over three months now.
According to an India Today report, besides classes, the government has also decided to reopen the hostels for students as well as resume the bus services.
But the reality is far from the claims. There has been an acute shortage of teachers, and the hostels have remained shut despite the announcement. Furthermore, transportation services have still not resumed with the students living in far-flung areas having to bear the additional expenses.
"We came here when we were called for offline classes, but now there is no indication of us getting our scholarship. Our condition is such that we don't have hostels to stay in and we don't have the scholarship amount to try to stay elsewhere," said Suman Gowda HR, a student of SKSJTI College in Bengaluru, reported The News Minute.
"I'm originally from Raichur and I have come here (Bengaluru) to study. When I went to our hostel, the warden said that he can't open the hostel just for me. However, even when 15 of us showed up and asked, he told us to make arrangements elsewhere as he doesn't have orders from the government. My parents are farmers and I definitely cannot afford a huge rent. On top of this, if we try to get our scholarship that website doesn't open. If this continues, how can students like me study at all?" explained Ramesh, a Class 10 student who used to stay at the Government SC/ST Boys hostel in Austin Town.
Students travelling from rural areas have also complained of a lack of availability of bus facility.
The publication further reported that several buses running along the route to remote villages have still not resumed operations forcing the students to use other means of transport. Additional expenses are taking a toll on the students belonging to economically weaker sections and those hit hard due to lack of income during the lockdown.
"Before the lockdown, there used to be a lot more buses that came to our village but now there is one in the morning and one in the night. Even if we catch the morning bus, we always miss a class. Now internals are going on for us, by the time we reach college we are late for internal tests," said Shivshankar, a BEd student from Ballari.