Kerala: ‘Indefinite’ strike at SME aborted on the first day

Deccan Chronicle.  | Deccan Chronicle

Nation, Current Affairs

“We thought taking legal action is better than striking,” said Suresh Thoombumkal, representative of the parents.

School of Medical Education (SME) students stage a dharna near Gandhi Statue in Kottayam on Wednesday. (Photo: Rajeev Prasad)

Kottayam: The "indefinite" strike launched by the students and parents of the School of Medical Education (SME) institutions before the Gandhi statue at Thirunakkara here Wednesday demanding an end to the uncertainty over the validity of its courses fizzled out on the very first day following differences among them.

The strike began by 10.30 am and ended at 3.30 pm, sources said, after parents convened a meeting after it became clear that it would not proceed smoothly as students differed. Almost 3,000 students and their parents sat down around the Gandhi Square in protest. “We thought taking legal action is better than striking,” said Suresh Thoombumkal, representative of the parents.

SFI protest halts CU Eng college
Classes at the Calicut University Institute of Engineering and Technology, Thenhippalam, has come to a halt following a student strike against seven "unqualified" teachers.

The SFI started a sit-in at the entrance of the self-financing college two weeks back preventing these teachers entering the campus. The impasse began when the other teachers too boycotted the classes in solidarity with fellow teachers.

The teachers have shunned their allegations saying they had all the qualifications prescribed by the University and the AICTE at the time of joining and the university itself approved it.

SFI Malappuram district secretary K. Shyamprasad said an RTI document revealed they had no equivalency certificate for their qualifications. “Some of them had even obtained regular degrees simultaneously while working at the college,” he alleged.

The teachers say they received regular degrees attending holiday classes which will be a considered as regular course as per a High Court order. “Some of us have done post-graduation by taking leave from the duty, Ratheesh C., an assistant professor, said.

They also alleged that some of the students who had not enough attendance had threatened them seeking more internal marks. The teachers also want a Syndicate subcommittee to investigate the allegations of students including issues related to the internal marks.

The team appointed by the university to probe issue has sought more time to submit a report. “The issue is under investigation. We cannot comment at this stage. Further decisions will be based on its report,” Abdul Majeed, registrar of the university, said.