The students' association of Pune- based FTII has sought immediate suspension of online classes for the 2020 batch students, saying that it is becoming increasingly difficult for them to attend classes due to the challenges posed by the coronavirus crisis.
The FTII Students Association (FSA) has also sought a meeting with the institute's chairman Shekhar Kapur to express their concerns.
The Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) administration, however, said that online classes are going on only for one batch, and many students are attending the classes and demanded that they should continue.
It also made it clear that online classes will continue to be held for the duration they are planned.
In a release, the FSA said, "We are witnessing an exponential increase in cases each day and people are struggling to avail medical facilities. FTII administration has been enforcing mandatory online classes for the newly- admitted 2020 batch students."
It said that the students raised concern over the online medium of education, but the FTII administration has made it mandatory for the students to attend online classes, which is in violation of the attendance criteria mentioned in the UGC guidelines for online classes.
"FTII chairman Mr Shekhar Kapur is reluctant to meet us and has given us a date 11 days later from now for a meeting to discuss our urgent concerns. We are sad and concerned to state that students, faculties, staff members and families are getting affected not just by COVID-19, but also by financial and mental health issues associated with it," it said.
The students are from different parts of the country and it is becoming increasingly difficult for them to attend classes amid this health crisis, the release added.
The FSA demanded that the FTII chairman should meet them at the earliest and understand the concerns in view of the devastating phase of the pandemic to bring in an immediate suspension of the online classes.
Meanwhile, FTII director Bhupendra Kainthola said, "Online classes are on only for the 2020 batch and many students are attending the classes and have asked that the classes should continue. Connectivity and other issues are there, but still, students are regular in their classes and in direct contact with their teachers."
"FTII administration is also helping the students. For instance, in the case of a student from Kargil, on the request of FTII the Ladakh administration is facilitating the student with venue and connectivity," he said.
In case students miss a lecture or a session, a review or recap session is planned on Saturdays.
"Teachers are also ready to help them on phone or e-mail. When on campus, a recap or review of these online sessions would also be made," the director added.
FTII's academic and governing councils have discussed the matter and directed the institute to continue with online classes for the benefit of those students who are interested, so the online classes will continue for the duration they are planned, he said.