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Thursday, November 26, 2020

Punjab universities, colleges to open from November 16

Education Institutions will have to prepare details of opening the campus in a phased manner with a complete roster for all departments and batches of students in different programs

By: Express News Service | Amritsar | Updated: November 13, 2020 1:03:15 pm
college 2020Education Institutions will have to prepare details of opening the campus in a phased manner with a complete roster for all departments and batches of students in different programs. Express Photo by Praveen Khanna/ Representational

The universities and institutions in Punjab are allowed to open from November 16 onwards only after testing staff for Covid-19. Initially, at the universities, only departments with hands on training like Departments of Sciences or Medicine will be opened. This will be followed by the departments where the hands on training can be delayed like Departments of managements, commerce etc.

After the assessment of the situation, the departments of arts and languages will follow suit. The universities at their own level will set the order of precedence for opening of institutions. Making decision on final academic schedule will be the responsibility of the concerned universities keeping in view their specific requirements.

Education institutions will have to prepare details of opening the campus in a phased manner with a complete roster for all departments and batches of students in different programmes. The colleges will adopt hybrid teaching ensuring full and systematic coverage of syllabus with liberty to extend teaching hours and a fair rotation of teachers in such a number of batches that seamless study and teaching work goes on regular basis.

In the first phase, students of final year only can be called for physical classes with not more than 50 per cent of the students on any given day wearing mask without exception. For other classes, online mode is advised. The institutions with less strength and enough space for mandatory social distancing may allow more than 50 per cent or more students. Students and college staff members will download and update COVA and Arogya Setu application.

Heads of institutes will have to constitute a task force to ensure complete regular sanitisation of campus with 1 per cent hypochloride solution every week and separate entry and exit points along with arranging for necessary equipment like thermal scanners, sanitizing liquids. Task force with also keep check on canteen, common rooms, library and any such places of common gathering meet the requirements of social distancing besides No visitor or outsider will be allowed to enter campus of the college.

Heads will also ensure that teachers when not taking classes physically are devoting at least five hours on online teaching, tests, evaluation, guidance and monthly tests are taken in all seriousness by teachers. They would also evaluates each teacher’s work objectively, without prejudice or favour for recording in the same in ACR of teachers

Teachers can also engage students in sports and extracurricular activities where physical distancing could be maintained. They are also supposed to maintain daily diary and ensure engagement of students online, when they are working from homes.

Teachers will have to ensure that syllabus is completed in time, and is fully covered and provide psychological counselling and guidance to students. To ensure that the number of teaching days is not reduced, universities at their own level will try to minimise the winter break and if possible, conduct online lectures on weekends.

Students are asked to adhere to the Covid-19 safety guidelines in letter and spirit and not assemble at common places like canteen in groups. Students will adhere to time table and will not unnecessarily loiter around in the college premises once their classes are over.

To start with, only half of the hostel capacity can be utilised. The social distancing norms would be strictly maintained at the dining halls and messes. The mess would serve food for longer periods so that the students can eat in a staggered manner. The hostels will be given first to the students which have to take hands on practical training followed by the other students after evaluation of the situation. Only one student per room will be allowed. It would be the responsibility of the university to ensure seamless internet services for deliverance of online teaching material.

At university, Health Centre staff should be trained to handle Covid-19 cases. An isolation ward should be setup in health centre. The medicines required for support during the covid-19 convalescence should be available in the health centre or at least with the medicine shops near the university.

The Government has allowed usage of gyms and sporting facilities after following the guidelines strictly. The in-charge of the sporting facilities would ensure that the guidelines are strictly followed especially in the gyms and closed spaces.

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