Uthenthawai Campus students protest to demand resumption of on-site classes
Students of engineering and architectecture at Rajamangala University of Technology Tawan-ok, Uthenthawai Campus, rallied in front of the university to demand resumption of on-site classes.
About 400 students of all years of Uthenthawai Campus’ Faculty of Engineering and Architecture rallied to demand a meeting with the dean to press their case for resumption of on-site teaching.
The students said the faculty should resume on-site classes for all years of students now that Covid-19 pandemic has ended.
They said their studies required use of facilities at the university and sometimes they did not thoroughly understand the online teaching of the lecturers.
The students alleged that the university had forced them to buy their own computers to study although they should have been allowed to use computers and other facilities of the campus as they have paid their tuition fee.
The students said the first-year students of the faculty should be allowed to enter the campus to engage in social activities like students of other faculties, but they are prohibited from entering the campus and some first-year students were suspended just because they came to the campus to file their homework.
Initially, the students rallied on the pavement in front of the university and demanded to meet the dean, Asst Prof Thongpool Thasiphet.
Pathumwan Police Station acting chief Pol Colonel Thammasak Saraboon led a team of policemen and lecturers of the faculty to meet the students and asked them to appoint representatives to hold talks with the faculty and end the rally.
But the students refused to talk to the lecturers and demanded to meet the dean.
At 11.30am, the students moved from the pavement to occupy the Phya Thai Road and blocked the road for 100 metres in front of the university.
Thongpool eventually came out to meet the students and asked them to send representatives to hold talks with him in his office provided they ended the rally.
The students agreed to end the rally after they submitted their demand to the dean for the resumption of on-site classes.
Thongpool promised to hold a meeting of the faculty with representatives of the students.
Thongpool explained that only first-year students are required to study online because they have no lab courses at the university.
He denied that some first-year students were fired or suspended just because they came to the campus to file their homework. He said the university has record that could justify the penalties but he did not elaborate.
A lecturer, who requested anonymity, said the university decided to hold online classes for first-year students to protect them. The lecturer said the university feared the first-year students would be lured by their seniors to commit wrongdoings that could create losses.
The lecturer was hinting at the long history of inter-institution feud between the campus and Pathum Wan Institute of Technology. Students from the two institutes often engaged in street fights, resulting even in loss of lives.