Phurpa Lhamo

Third- and fourth-year students of Paro College of Education are frustrated with the uncertain duration for online classes.

The college management has said that online classes will begin by the end of February, but the students will have to pay rent for the booked apartments in Paro. All third- and fourth-year students of the college live in rented apartments.

Students renting an apartment are provided with a stipend of Nu 4,000 every month.

According to a student, if the apartments were handed over, it would be difficult for them to find new apartments if the college management called them again to the college.

A student who pays Nu 5,500 rent for an apartment in Paro per month said that she had to pay rent for four months—the months the students were on holiday.

The college management notified the students yesterday that the classes would be held online.

A management official said that earlier, students were informed to report to the college on February 28, but in the face of the current scenario with different Covid situations in different dzongkhags, the management felt that not all students would be able to report to the college.

The official said that a stipend would be provided to the students starting February 28, which would help the students to pay their rents.

“It’s unsure how long online classes will take place,” the official said.

If the situation improves across the country, the management will ask the students to report to the college.

A student said that he had already booked his flight ticket for February 22. “I don’t know what to do. I haven’t cancelled my flight tickets yet.”

The college management said that students in transit and those who have already booked tickets can continue their journey and join the college.

For first and second-year students, the hostel and mess will remain open.

However, for those in red areas and those who are having difficulty procuring a quarantine date, the official advised them not to panic and that they need not report to the college.

“We took everything into consideration. It is all for the benefit of the students,” the official said.