‘Conducting practicals will be a challenge if attendance remains low’
With most colleges recording low attendance by student on the third consecutive day, principals and managements are considering holding only practical classes on campus and continuing with the remaining lectures online.
Principals expressed concern over convincing students to physically attend practicals. “Conducting practicals will be difficult if attendance remains low,” said a faculty member of a college in Bengaluru.
P. Ishwara Bhat, Vice Chancellor, Karnataka State Law University, said that very few students turned up on campus on Thursday. “This has been the case with most of the 106 colleges affiliated to our university. Only a few colleges in cities like Bengaluru are seeing some student turnout,” he said.
He added that if this trend continues in December, they will have to look at alternative ways to ensure that final year students get the training they need for placements. “The mandatory COVID-19 negative certificate and lack of transport facilities may be contributing to the low attendance,” he added.
Principals are hoping that attendance will increase in December.
C.B. Annapurnamma, principal, National College, Basavanagudi, said that to maintain social distancing and avoid crowding in laboratories, they had extended college hours. “Even then, very few students turned up on the first day. On Thursday, 68 students reported to the campus, but most of them did not have a COVID-19 negative certificate. We had to make arrangements for testing on the premises,” she said.
Faculty at National College hope to complete practicals within the first week of December. “But it will be a problem if only a few students turn up for the practicals,” she said.
Students, especially those residing in the outskirts of the city, blamed the lack of coordination between government departments, which they said is making it difficult for them to go to college. “From transport to testing facilities, even if we want to come to campus, we can’t because either result of the test is delayed or there is no proper public transport. Students who don’t live in the city can’t return because many hostels are closed,” said Yashwanth N., a student.
However, a few colleges are bucking the trend, and reported a rise in attendance.
T.M. Manjunath, president, Karnataka Government College Teachers’ Association, said that more students turned up on Thursday when compared to the past two days.
“Around 40 % of students have started coming to the college now. We will get to know the real picture in a few days. If some opt for online classes and others offline, then the workload on teachers will increase. The government has to take a call on the issue,” he said.