Updated: October 13, 2021 10:02:30 am
While Tuesday was supposed to be the first day of reopening of colleges across the city, students’ return to campuses was marred by confusion and uncertainty with the state higher education authorities failing to give any directions to colleges in the regard. As a result, most of the colleges remained shut and even those which resumed physical classes with much fanfare were forced to announce cancellation of offline lectures within a few hours.
Though the local disaster management authority had declared that higher educational institutions can start offline lectures from October 12, the Savitribai Phule Pune University had not given any instructions to affiliated colleges to reopen. The university authorities, on their part, said they have not received any instructions from the higher education department regarding reopening of colleges due to which they could not issue any instructions.
Owing to the confusion, Fergusson College, one of the handful of city colleges which resumed physical offline lectures, announced that it would resume online lectures till further notice and asked students to return home.
College principal Ravindrasinh Pardeshi said, “Since the local authorities had permitted reopening, we started physical offline lectures. But later, it was pointed out to us that no other college has started operations since the university is yet to issue instructions in the direction. Hence, we decided to cancel offline lectures and immediately put out a notice,” he said.
Meanwhile, enthusiasm among parents and students to return to colleges remained high with campuses being inundated with inquiries on re-opening. Dr Atmaram Pawar, principal in-charge of Poona College of Pharmacy, said the telephone lines at the college have been busy for the last two days. “Parents and students are continuously calling up since everyone wants physical classes to resume. However, since most students are from outstation, they are also requesting that the college resume post-Diwali. Hostels and PG accommodations, too, have to be sorted out for the students.”
Savita Datar, principal, SP College, said, “We started issuing ID cards to students today (Tuesday) and the response was good; they were very excited to be back and many came to inquire about lectures. But it won’t be so easy to start. We need a lot of preparations, SOPs need to be studied and carefully implemented. We have begun preparations by collecting students’ data on vaccinations besides getting hostels cleaned and sanitised.”
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