The Higher Education Department has decided to go ahead with the November 17 schedule for reopening of degree colleges and post-graduate institutions in the state.
On October 27, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had said that its Unlock 5.0 guidelines, issued on September 30, will remain in effect till November 30. However, since state governments and Union Territories were given the discretion of opening educational institutions, based on the assessment of the Covid-19 situation and subject to SOPs, Karnataka has decided to go ahead with reopening of colleges, a top official from the department told The New Indian Express.
Colleges across the state are already making preparations for the arrival of students on campuses. However, managing hostels remains a tricky issue. The Higher Education Department on Wednesday discussed with stakeholders on how to accommodate students.
As of now, the state has allowed two options for conducting classes — online and offline. Based on how many students register for hostels, the department will decide on the steps that need to be taken, said the official. All precautionary measures will be taken when opening hostels and bus services for students, he added.
At Bangalore University campus, where post-graduate students are accommodated, Vice- Chancellor K R Venugopal told TNIE that they hope to complete the necessary classes for second-year students during the interim period before the first-year students begin their academic year. By this, the university hopes to decongest the hostels on the campus.
Colleges affiliated to the university will have to devise their own mechanisms to ensure fewer students in hostels. On the need for specific SOPs for college students, Bangalore North University V-C Kemparaju said hostels are the most important components, especially as a number of people use the same bathroom, kitchen facilities, and social distancing will have to be maintained in rooms that earlier accommodated two to three students per room.
Also, the working staff, a number of whom come from different places, have to be taken care of, he said. The university is also on the wait-and-watch mode to see how many students turn up for offline classes and hostel facilities. It will prioritise those who come from distant locations. The university is also considering renting out buildings close by, he added.