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University students strike because they want more LGBTI teachers

University students strike because they want more LGBTI teachers

a groups of students sit on the ground holding placards, one reads hunger strike

Some college students in India have gone on strike to protest a lack of qualified teachers for a LGBTI subject.

Postgraduate students at the Savitribai Phule Pune University walked out of their classes ahead of exams. The exams are due to start this week.

The students felt underprepared for the exams in the LGBTI class. They argued that was because their teacher wasn’t knowledgeable enough about the subject.

The protestors claimed they had approached the university multiple times about their complaints which also include; favortisim and discrimination of students from poor families.

First introduced in 2017, the LGBTI subject is one of the most popular amongst students studying a Master of English. In its first year 40 out of 50 students enrolled into the LGBT subject.

They asked the university to reinstate Professor R Raj Rao who had introduced the LGBTI subject.

Rao is one of India’s leading LGBTI activists and a respected academic. He released one of India’s first gay novels, The Boyfriend, in 2003.

‘On multiple occasions, we have asked the head of the department to ask Rao to teach the subject. These requests have been ignored,’ an unnamed student told Pune Mirror.

‘The favouritism runs to an extent, where students, who did not appear for the exam, are graded while others continue to get lower grades. Their requests for revaluation are stalled.’

LGBT is a sensitive subject

Rao claimed the university did not like him and replaced him with a teacher not qualified to teach LGBTI subjects.

‘The current head of the department has a personal problem with me and thus, is not approaching me to take classes of the students,’ he said.

‘As a result, they are suffering. LGBT is a sensitive subject and the faculty teaching right now has no knowledge of the same and is not covering the components.

‘If the subject has not been taught properly, I wonder how the students will be appearing for the exams that start on Friday.’

Pune is one of India’s biggest cities and is located in the west of the country.

Pune’s annual Pride march is a popular one. But at last year’s event organizers controversially told attendees not to openly show their ‘flamboyance’ and to ‘wear decent clothes’ so as not to draw ire from the public.