Darjeeling: Teachers’ plea to restore internet to help exam-bound students goes unheard
Darjeeling, July 25: It is the students' community which is being hit the hardest due to the indefinite bandh and ban on internet services in restive Darjeeling.
On the one hand, schools and colleges remained closed, and on the other hand, students were being unable to access internet for the academic purposes for more than a month now.
On Monday, the indefinite bandh entered its 40th day in Darjeeling and its neighbouring areas in the wake of the ongoing Gorkhaland agitation. The authorities, stating law and order problem, suspended internet services across the hills since June 18.
Because of the clampdown on internet, class nine students, who are all set to appear for their board examinations, failed to fill up their forms. In an attempt to provide relief to the students, the Darjeeling teachers' association on Monday met the district magistrate and sought restoration of internet services.
However, the teachers' plea went unheard by the government. The authorities rejected the demand for restoration of internet services in the hills.
Providing an alternative solution to the problems of the students, the officials told the teachers that they would make special arrangements for students to go to Siliguri to fill up their forms.
Before meeting the authorities, the teachers' body took out a procession on the streets of Darjeeling to highlight the problems of students.
"The teachers association members had come here to submit a memorandum (for restoring internet services) but we told them that internet cannot be selectively reopened. We told them that we will make special arrangements so that students can go to Siliguri to fill up their forms," a senior district official told PTI.
Meanwhile, there was no report of any untoward incident from the scenic hill town since Sunday night.
The supporters of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), the political outfit spearheading the current round of Gorkhaland agitation, took out rallies at Chowkbazar area during the day demanding Gorkhaland amidst patrolling by police and security forces.
Tight vigil was in place at all entry and exit routes. Except pharmacies, all other public service installations including shops, restaurants, hotels, schools and colleges have remained closed since imposition of the shutdown.
The students, parents and teachers fear that if the bandh continues it would adversely impact the career of students, especially those studying in class 10 and class 12, who are all set to appear for their board examinations next year.
Darjeeling, which is famous for its schools, in recent times has seen how boarders of all the residential schools were evacuated from their premises to the safe environment of the plains in Siliguri.
Students from various corners of the country and the world, including Nepal, Bhutan and Thailand, to name a few, have long been studying in Darjeeling, known for its "high-quality" English-medium schools.
Many popular residential schools from Darjeeling are now planning to provide special classes for class 10 and class 12 students in Siliguri to finish their course on time.