The Karnataka government on Friday announced that colleges in the state can reopen from November 17. However, students can opt to attend classes in campus or online, the government has said.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Higher Education Minister C N Ashwathnarayan said the decision on reopening colleges was taken at a review meeting headed by Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa.
Online classes in the state’s colleges started in September and a few degree exams were also conducted.
“Colleges in Karnataka will reopen for classes from November 17. Reopening of all graduate, PG, diploma and engineering colleges was discussed with all concerned department officials (at the review meet),” said Ashwathnarayan, who is also the deputy Chief Minister.
“Classes will be held in a ‘blended’ manner, with students having the option of attending classes either in-person or through online classes. Those who wish to attend the classes in-person, will have to carry a consent letter from their parents,” the minister said.
“All safety measures shall be followed in accordance with the UGC’s Covid-19 guidelines. A task force will be instituted at each district and college level to seamlessly implement the same,” he added.
The Karnataka government has been considering reopening colleges, which shut in March on account of the pandemic, from some months now.
In the normal course, colleges used to reopen between June and August for new academic terms.
Students have demanded that hostels should be reopened along with colleges since out station students would be hard-pressed to find places to stay.
Ashwathnarayan said the necessary arrangements would be made for students who live in hostels for SC/ST, OBC community members as well as those in social welfare department hostels. Transport arrangements will also be made for the smooth conduct of classes, he added.
For the benefit of those studying in government colleges, Ashwathnarayan said the Karnataka government would launch a Learning Management System (LMS) portal on November 17.
Travel restrictions which prevented outstation students from returning to college campuses and hostels were removed in August by the state government.
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