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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

On last day of academic calendar, colleges reopen for on-campus classes after 1.5 years

SPPU Vice-Chancellor Dr Nitin Karmalkar, who visited some colleges on Wednesday to see students return back to campus, said university lectures were likely to resume in December.

Written by Alifiya Khan | Pune |
Updated: October 21, 2021 10:35:49 am
Most colleges opened their doors to fully vaccinated students.

College campuses across the city came alive with chatter on Wednesday as students finally returned after a gap of one-and-a-half years and city colleges held offline classes for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic began in March last year.

But October 20, which was finally earmarked as the day for college reopening, was also the last day of the first semester according to the academic calendar shared by the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) for affiliated colleges.

In fact, as most colleges opened their doors to fully vaccinated students, welcoming them into classrooms, many students stayed away from the university campus.

SPPU Vice-Chancellor Dr Nitin Karmalkar, who visited some colleges on Wednesday to see students return back to campus, said university lectures were likely to resume in December.

Savita Datar, principal of SP College, said most colleges are offering a blended mode of education, with both offline classes and live streaming of the same for those students who aren’t fully vaccinated or whose parents have not agreed to send them to campus. (Photo: Ashish Kale)

“Currently, exams are going on and most of it is online since the planning and announcement had already happened earlier. According to the academic calendar, which we had announced, today is the last day of the first semester and we are a little strict about implementing it. So, it is likely that we will have lectures on campus when the second semester begins. Till then, we have readied the hostels and collecting data on vaccinated students so we can plan allotments of rooms,” he said.

Meanwhile, affiliated colleges have tweaked academic calendars to allow students to return to campus.
Rajendra Zunjarrao, principal of Modern College, Shivajinagar, said classes have resumed for first-year students of all undergraduate and post-graduate students. “These students have had a longer gap than anyone else. Their board exams also got cancelled and they have missed the excitement of starting a new course. So, we have decided to prioritise first-year students as far as physical lectures are concerned, after the Diwali break, we will start with second-year students,” he said.

Savita Datar, principal of SP College, said most colleges are offering a blended mode of education, with both offline classes and live streaming of the same for those students who aren’t fully vaccinated or whose parents have not agreed to send them to campus.

“We got consent from only about 30 per cent parents about their wards returning to campus. So, we have started classes for them and teachers have been asked to live-stream the same class. It will take time for parents to be confident … and many students are also out of town. I think that would be the case in most colleges in the city. Also, as far as the academic calendar is concerned, we started late also, so we have decided to extend the classes and take only a few days break for Diwali,” she said.

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