KU plans ahead for post-COVID-19 scenario

The University of Kerala has set its sights on resuming face-to-face learning even while retaining the merits of the virtual classroom necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

An expert committee chaired by Pro Vice Chancellor P.P. Ajayakumar, which undertook a comprehensive study of ‘University Education during and after the COVID-19 period’ has advocated the resumption of normal classes in small batches in different schedules to adhere to the COVID-19 guidelines.

The panel report, which was approved by the Syndicate chaired by Vice Chancellor V.P. Mahadevan Pillai on Friday, also called for ensuring optimum use of technology that promoted interaction and effective dissemination of information. While classes for each semester shall be conducted in accordance with the academic calendar, the schedule of examinations could vary and will be revised after considering the pandemic situation.

As part of the post-COVID-19 reforms, the university will implement its Learning Management System (LMS), used to manage e-resources and teaching materials and to share databases and other web-based activities, across study departments from the 2020-21 academic year. Thirty-minute video lessons will be prepared and uploaded for the benefit of students under the KU Padasala programme.

The university has also proposed the introduction of theatre classrooms in departments to facilitate live streaming of classes, recording of sessions, and to play audio and video recordings to enrich the physical and online classroom experience.

Focus on research

In order to prevent a stagnation in research activities, the university will institute a Research Directorate for which a full-time director will be appointed. A full-fledged research portal will automate all processes relating to research right from enrolment to award of degree. A software is being developed for the purpose.

In a bid to boost research output, the university will introduce a ‘Project Challenge’ to encourage all of its 200 teachers to apply for projects. Each study departments will make it mandatory for its faculty to apply for project funding. The strategy is expected to augment research activities, high-impact publications, and attract funds.

The expert committee has also mooted the creation of four new departments, four international centres, and two interdisciplinary departments. These include departments and institutions that offer courses in renewable energy, design, space science, forensic science and criminology, Latin American studies, migration studies, climate change and disaster management, women’s studies, and exclusion and inequality studies.

As part of reorienting the university’s 16 faculties, all language departments will come under the Faculty of Languages. All subjects that come under the Faculty of Ayurveda, Medicine, Dentistry, and Homoeopathy will be brought under the Faculty of Health Sciences. Despite most colleges under the faculties of health sciences, and engineering and technology being affiliated to the Kerala University of Health Sciences and APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University, they will be retained for some more time for the benefit of students who were yet to clear their supplementary examinations.

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Printable version | Oct 1, 2020 6:19:34 PM |

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