Bengaluru: Classes for 1st, 2nd year degree, engineering students to open after Sankranti | Bengaluru News – Times of India
Classes were restarted for final-year degree students on November 17 and similar to those guidelines, first-year and second-year degree students will also be given a choice to continue online classes, official sources said.
This decision was taken at a meeting of deputy chief minister CN Ashwathnarayan and vice-chancellors and registrars of the universities on Friday. Ashwathnarayan is also the minister for higher education.
He said classes for final-year students were proceeding smoothly and college authorities showed instant willingness to restart regular classes for others as well.
Confusion over bus pass to be cleared soon: DyCM
Vice-chancellors have been asked to submit a report on the matter and a date will be fixed for reopening on January 14.
“Offline classes for finalyear students are running successfully. Taking this into account, it has been decided to open the remaining classes also. All measures will be taken as per UGC and Covid guidelines,” Ashwath Narayan stressed.
There was also deliberation about starting academic year 2021-22. Ashwath Narayan said the higher education academic calendar will be framed taking into account exams for II PU students that are set to be held in the second week of May.
On conducting exams, registrars and vice-chancellors at the meeting, including Prof Karisiddappa of VTU, said it would be better to hold offline exams. “The government will consider this seriously. As per UGC norms, the exam needs to be completed in March. But the syllabus is not over in several universities. So, the government is mulling conducting the exam process in April or May,” Karisiddappa said.
Ashwath Narayan said the confusion over students’ bus pass will also be cleared soon after discussions with deputy CM Laxman Savadi, who is transport minister. There is confusion on whether students can use their old bus passes or new ones are required. He said hostel facility will be provided for students of SC/ST communities once classes begin and that the social welfare department has responded positively to this.
Nothing to fear, says BU VC
Bangalore University vice-chancellor Prof KR Venugopal said there is nothing to fear and parents must send children to colleges with confidence. “Covid-19 cases have come down. It does not mean that we can relax; there are the cases of the new strain. But with sanitisation, social distancing and wearing of masks, problems can be averted,” he said, adding the vaccine is also around the corner. Venugopal said BU will take forward blended learning, but online classes have their own setbacks. “Students can’t focus and will have shorter attention spans. Offline classes will help teachers complete complex parts of the syllabus as well as the practical components,” he said.
Need for better management: Authorities
Some college authorities said reopening of classes must be accompanied with stricter management. They alleged that safety SOPs “have already been ignored” even with a limited number of students and they fear it will become worse.
“There are two students in each hostel room now. How will they accommodate more while following all the SOPs? The government must either forego the SOPs or bring in stricter management. Otherwise, it is hypocrisy,” said a college lecturer. He said the inspection squad cannot do much to enforce rules on campus as there is no sanitisation and students become careless after some days. “There are 3-4 students sitting together, not wearing masks. When asked they say, ‘sir we are negative’,” he said.
Some lecturers also asked the government to make offline classes mandatory.