Offline classes for students of intermediate semesters for both postgraduate and undergraduate courses in degree, diploma and engineering courses will begin on January 15.
Deputy Chief Minister and Higher Education Minister C.N. Ashwath Narayan announced this on Monday after a high-level meeting with officials of the Department of Higher Education. It was also decided to reopen college canteens and libraries, which were closed until now. Further, colleges can also restart the sports, cultural activities and NCC and NSS training in the colleges after chalking out standard operating procedures (SOPs).
Dr. Narayan said that hostels for all the students will be opened simultaneously and the bus pass facility will also be provided. “The department has also got in touch with the Transport Department to ensure that student bus passes are distributed on a fast track basis,” he said.
These classes would reopen amidst all precautionary measures taken, including conducting COVID-19 tests in colleges, and sanitisation, among others.
While classes for final year students had commenced on November 17, the State government had decided to reopen the remaining classes after Sankranti, which falls on January 14. The department had sought reports from vice-chancellors of all universities on the reopening. It was unanimously decided that there was an urgent need to reopen the remaining classes in the best interest of students. Many students had complained that the online classes were not effective and they were not able to grasp even core concepts.
A press release from the department stated that NCC exams also needed to be conducted. It has been decided to organise short-term camps. “It has been allowed to conduct three days camp for the B-Certificate exam and five days camp for the C-Certificate exam,” the release added.
The Department of Social Welfare and Backward Classes has been asked to frame separate SOPs to be followed in hostels and SOPs for the library, canteen, during academic and cultural activities and sports meets.