Colleges may extend teaching hours


UGC guidelines state that only 50% of the student strength would be allowed on campus at a time

The heads of many higher education institutions in the city are considering extending teaching hours among staff so that classes can be conducted in batches for students. This comes after the University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines issued on Thursday stated that only 50% of the student strength would be allowed on a campus at a time.

C.B. Annapurnamma, principal, National College, Basavanagudi, said that if they implement this, they will have no choice but to extend teaching hours. “We are also considering holding classes on alternate days, depending on the year. However, we have doubts on the modalities of mixed teaching methodology. We still do not know if we need to record separate classes for students who have opted for online learning. If that is the case, the workload will increase, and it will be difficult for teachers,” she said.

The college plans to finish practical classes first and then conduct internals as soon as possible. “That will take around 20 days. By then, we will get a clearer idea on the way forward,” she said.

K.R. Venugopal, Vice Chancellor of Bangalore University, said that many of their affiliated colleges are thinking of extending working hours. “Completing practicals and revision classes in a phased manner is the priority. For this, teaching hours may have to be extended as there has not been any cut in the syllabus,” he said.

Karisiddappa, Vice Chancellor of Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU), said that they would consult various stakeholders, including teachers, students and parents, on the issue and take a decision early next week. “We are also waiting for the State government’s SOP. Since engineering is technical in nature, we need to plan well before we open our doors to students,” he said.

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On the other hand, a few deemed-to-be-universities and autonomous colleges have almost finished the current semester and have scheduled exams in early December.

Fr. Abraham V.M., Vice-Chancellor of Christ (Deemed To Be University), said that the last working day of the present semester for UG was November 7, and the exams would commence in the first week of December.

“The next semester begins in the first week of January 2021. We are planning to hold classes on alternate days. Those who cannot attend classes in campus can attend them online,” he said.

‘Hostel guidelines impractical’

While the UGC guidelines state that sharing rooms may not be allowed in hostels, many colleges said it is not practical.

A senior faculty member of Bangalore University said that around 1,000 PG students recently stayed in the hostels to appear for their final year exam. “How can we give each a separate room? We need more clarity on this,” he said.

Minister directs officials to strictly implement online teaching rules

Primary and Secondary Education Minister S. Suresh Kumar on Friday directed officials to ensure that schools were following the modalities set by the government for conducting online classes. Nodal officers will be appointed for grievance redressal at the district level. “Block education officers (BEOs) should monitor how online classes are conducted,” he said.

“Parents and students who wish to lodge complaints against schools violating the rules can reach out to the government helpline: 18004257302 or WhatsApp 9483045130,” he said



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Sagar Biswas

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