The state of Karnataka has decided to delay resuming of the colleges due to rising cases of the novel coronavirus. As per the command of the University Grant Commission (UGC), Karnataka will begin colleges in November. The state of Karnataka is yet to take all the precautionary measures for the students. The Deputy Chief Minister and the Higher Education Minister of Karnataka C N Ashwathanarayan said that the reopening of the colleges in Karnataka had been delayed further. The increasing cases of the coronavirus/ COVID-19 have compelled the authority to take such measures. There will be no offline classes in October. Earlier, the state government of Karnataka reported that the offline/ physical classes would start from October 1, 2020. The state would continue to carry the online classes in the month of September. The online classes in the respective colleges in Karnataka would start from September 1, 2020. The District president of Bangalore, H M Sithara, is a member of All India Democratic Students’ Organization, approved the decision of delaying the reopening of colleges further. The government has decided that unless the cases of coronavirus decrease, the offline classes should not resume. The Vice-Chancellor of Bangalore Central University S. Japhet said that the online classes have recommenced for the students of the intermediate semester from September 1, 2020. However, most of the students have found difficulty in attending online classes due to the unavailability of gadgets. The students have also faced difficulties regarding internet connectivity.
What does the survey say?
Bangalore Students Community (BSC) conducted a survey taking 15000 parents and students into consideration. Around 75.33 per cent of the students had opted for online classes. The students requested the state government to take the survey into consideration. Around 59.35 per cent of the participants believed that the colleges might not be able to work efficiently and follow the guidelines.
Although, the schools have resumed on a voluntary basis for the students of Grade 9 till Grade 12, the education is still continued in a staggered way. The authorities are maintaining a constant check on the increasing cases of COVID-19. The colleges are still struggling to reopen their offline classes. Some of the colleges have allowed the students to return in a phased manner.
The government is still encouraging online education to prevent the social gathering of the students. The Vice-chancellor of the state-run university in Karnataka said that it would be difficult for the students to maintain social distancing once the colleges reopen. The University Grant Commission (UGC) has instructed the universities and the colleges to follow the directions provided by the state governments and union territories.
The universities have decided to follow a 6-week pattern for the academic session of 2020-2021 and 2021-2022. It has been expected that the 6-week pattern would help the students to compensate for their academic losses. This year, there will be no breaks for vacations as the students need to finish their degrees on time.
It may be concluded that colleges that are outside of the containment zones will be reopened at first. Students, teachers and staff living in the containment zones may not be allowed to attend the colleges. The colleges may adopt the hybrid model of learning. The campuses are needed to be thoroughly sanitized with the solution of hypochlorite solutions, specifically, institutions turned into COVID-19 centres. The institutions are required to have an ample amount of face covers, sanitizers, thermal guns and so forth. Students need to avoid cash transactions and the colleges are needed to accept online payments.
Colleges in Bengal
The state of West Bengal has also recommended the reopening of colleges from November. West Bengal, Minister of Education Partha Chatterjee has said that the Undergraduate classes will be starting from November 2, 2020. The PostGraduation students will attend the classes in the month of December. All the classes are to be taken online. It has been reported that the state has been allowed to start the new academic session from December.
- The laboratory equipment will be kept at a distance of 6 ft.
- Gymnasiums will be opened with limited capacities.
- The congregation must be avoided in the canteens and other areas.
- Teachers, Professors and non-academic staff are needed to work for extra hours.
- Professors are needed to take the students into consideration who will be attending online classes.
With the opening of colleges and institutions, many have raised some concerns regarding the safety and health of the teachers. The colleges are required to open to help the rural students to get back to mainstream education.