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Covid-19 Lockdown: UGC Drafts Proposal to Reopen Campuses

Jun 4 2020 10:04AM

Colleges and universities, when they finally open after the Covid-19 lockdown, may do so by first inviting only research scholars back to the colleges and slowly open their doors wider to let in other students.

All higher education institutions will also require to organize strategic tie-ups with medical facilities and put rules in place to deal with students who are unwell. Students and teachers who have a history of health conditions will be asked to go for online learning and teaching.

As HRD ministry readies for consultations on the reopening of institutions, teachers, students and parents, higher education regulator, UGC has outlined an initial list of do’s and don’ts for campuses, officials familiar with the development said.

While the final standard operating procedures ( SOPs) for schools and colleges will be issued by the government after discourse between the health, HRD and other ministries, the UGC’s draft rules were part of the agenda at a meeting on the subject on Friday. Based on an order issued by the Centre on Saturday, the health ministry may release a protocol after discussions with the other officials.

In the draft prepared by the UGC, it was recommended that the procedure of admissions be conducted online to withdraw visits by students to the campus.

Regular screening of faculty and students and awareness campaign are also part of the plan. In higher academic institutions, regular visits by counselors to help stressed candidates are also prepared.

Another suggestion, especially for teaching subjects that have a practical component, is to teach half the students in the classroom and gather the rest in laboratories. Even in common facilities like labs, it will have to be ensured that equipment is not broadly shared.

Varsities and colleges will also need to have plans in place to manage the movement of outsiders.

However, these are introductory suggestions and a final draft will only come after consultations with all stakeholders,” said another official.

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