Day one of college reopening evokes mixed response

There was mixed response to classes resuming on college campuses on Monday after a span of four months. Some colleges saw over 70% student attendance, while some registered less than 40%.

Most college managements expected high attendance on Monday as majority of students had been vaccinated and were more confident of attending classes. However, they anticipate better attendance later this week as many students from other States found it difficult to book return tickets on short notice. The colleges were closed in March due to the second wave of COVID-19 infections.

Many universities like Bengaluru Central University welcomed students back to campus with flowers, masks, and sanitisers.

Producing vaccination certificates and consent letters from parents was mandatory to enter the college or university premises. Many students who did not carry their vaccination certificates were asked to come back on Tuesday.

C.B. Annapurnamma, principal, National College, Basavanagudi, said they saw 70% attendance. “Students are more confident this time as they have had at least one dose of vaccination,” she said. She added that colleges were focusing on practicals first so that students are able to comprehend key concepts.

However, many students said that the attendance will improve only when hostels reopen. “Students outside Bengaluru are not attending classes as hostels remain closed. Some have to travel around 200 km a day to attend classes. As this is not feasible, they have skipped classes,” said a final-year B.A. student of Bangalore University.

Many colleges are conducting classes in shifts as they have to follow the SOPs and maintain physical distance.

As the examinations for final-semester students started from Monday at Visvesvaraya Technological University, the attendance of other semester students for offline classes was around 38%.

K.R. Venugopal, Vice-Chancellor of Bangalore University, said average attendance in 85 of their colleges surveyed was 52%. The university has 300 colleges affiliated to it. “We have told colleges to focus on laboratory work for science students as it is crucial that students get hands-on experience,” he said. He added that there would be a delay in foreign students and students from other parts of the country attending classes.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2021 10:03:03 PM |

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