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Students protest against SKIMS admin for not holding clinical classes

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Srinagar: Over 200 MBBS students on Friday morning staged a protest in the premises of SKIMS Medical College Srinagar against the administration for not taking steps to start their clinical classes.

The protesting MBBS students told news agency KNO that for the past over six months not a single clinical class was held, nor has the administration vacated the designated COVID staff from hostels.

The COVID staff has been accommodated at the hostels for which students have already paid, they said, adding that no clinical posting has been done so far since the entire hospital has been designated as COVID hospital even after the class-work resumed a month back.

“Even now, the COVID staff has occupied the hostel rooms despite the students having already paid hefty amount as hostel fee. Even after repeated requests to shift them, nothing was done by the administration, leaving the students to suffer and face immense problems,” protesting students said.

They said that due to the neglecting attitude of the administration, eight students have so far tested positive for COVID-19 after they came in contact with the COVID staff within the hostel which is highly worrying and disturbing for the students.

“We are not being allowed to enter the hospital or college for the clinical purpose, which has taken a hit at our academics while the classes are only held at wards,” they said.

Nearly 500 MBBS students are suffering due to the negligent attitude and non-seriousness of the administration towards the enrolled students despite knowing the challenges faced, the protesting students said.

Responding to the students’ charges, a senior official in the administration said that the students of the college are way ahead of their counterparts elsewhere, and that their classes have been going on regularly — first online and subsequently in regular manner as well.

“As far as the clinical classes are concerned, they (students) will have to understand that it was the government’s decision to designate this hospital into a full-fledged COVID facility, and we are happy that we have risen to the challenge and delivered impressively in dealing with the pandemic as is evident from the fact that there have been only little over 70 COVID deaths here,” the official said.

The lockdown which also led to closure of educational institutions was also a government decision. “But we ensured that online classes continued. Clinical classes remained suspended because the hospital could not take in patients who are normally treated here. So it is but obvious that the clinical classes will happen only when hospital reopens for the general patients as was the case before the pandemic,” the official said.

“There is no reason for the students to protest and agitate, because as MBBS students they should be able to comprehend the situation.”

About the hostels being occupied by the COVID staff, the official said “around 75 percent of hostels are already vacated and remaining portions will also be freed in couple of weeks. You have to understand that during the nationwide lockdown when this hospital was turned into a COVID facility, students were not around in the campus. The staff working with the COVID patients had to be accommodated somewhere as per the set protocols, so they were put up in the hostels as they were lying vacant. But with the improvement in the situation and teaching activities having resumed, we are freeing up hostels for the students.”

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