Colleges apprehensive about resuming classes
State government has given the nod to conduct offline classes on a voluntary basis from November 17
Although the State government has given the green signal for colleges to conduct offline classes on a voluntary basis from November 17, many managements are in a dilemma over whether they should re-open or continue with online classes.
Several college principals in Bengaluru told The Hindu that they are apprehensive about resuming physical classes even on a voluntary basis as it will affect students who don’t live in the city.
“If we start classes on November 17 and students residing in other States come to attend classes, we are worried that these students will be left in the lurch if the number of COVID-19 cases increases during winter,” said Elizabeth C.S., principal of Jyoti Nivas College. She, however, said that they would follow the rules stipulated by the State government.
C.B. Annapurnamma, principal, National College, Basavanagudi, said they are unsure about asking students to come to the campus. “We are worried as health experts say that the number of COVID-19 cases will increase from November.”
The government’s directive to conduct both online and ‘offline’ classes is also proving to be a logistical problem.
“We are unsure if we will have the staff strength to conduct offline classes for students who are willing to attend classes on campus and online classes for those who don’t want to take the risk,” Ms. Annapurnamma explained.
K.R. Venugopal, Vice Chancellor of Bangalore University, said that affiliated colleges will be asked to conduct practical classes first and revision classes in a phased manner.
No official order
Universities and colleges are yet to receive an order from the State government on resuming classes or a detailed SOP on how to conduct classes. Education officials said the SOP is being framed and includes sanitising classrooms after every session, health screenings at entry points, and setting up of healthcare units on campus.
Karisiddappa, Vice Chancellor of Visvesvaraya Technological University, said that they would follow the SOP to ensure that students’ health is not at risk.
According to Amaresh Kadagada, State president, Students’ Federation of India, students who have to commute long distances are apprehensive about going to campus to attend classes as they are dependent on private transport. “In the best interest of students, the number of COVID-19 cases needs to decline before classes are conducted,” he said.
Decision on medical and dental colleges next week
The State government is yet to take a call on when medical and dental colleges can resume offline classes. Sources said that it would be decided next week. Many medical and dental students have stated that they have got no practical exposure, making it very difficult for them to understand concepts.