Corona now preparing to open college; Learn all about UGC’s new guidelines
The coronavirus has disrupted studies not only in schools but also in colleges. Colleges and universities began to close around March 15, before the lockdown was imposed to stop the corona virus. Now the University Grants Commission (UGC) has issued detailed guidelines for reopening colleges and universities. You also know what the guidelines are and how they will be applied to colleges.
When will the college and university finally open?
The central government in Unlock 4.0 allowed schools and higher education institutions to open in phases after October 15, according to local conditions. Each state asked itself to determine the actual timing and guidelines for opening a college there.
Phase wise schools are being opened in some states. Now there is a demand to open a university-college and call students back to the college. Offline classes will be held in colleges and universities from November 16 in Punjab and Haryana. Then, West Bengal has made it clear that the college will open in December.
The decision as to when and how the classes will start at Central University is left to the Chancellor / President of the institutions. They will decide if the time is right to open a college or university. However, it will also depend on the area in which the college or university is located.
This means that whether approved by the Central Government and the UGC, it will be decided on the basis of your state government and local status whether a college or university can be opened. What is the difference between the guidelines of Central Government and UGC?
The central government’s guidelines only mentioned that the state government could open a school or college in phases. Now the UGC has clarified what will happen in hostels, what will happen in colleges, what will happen during offline classes at the university?
Truly UGC’s guidelines are like the Bible in the Corona period for colleges and universities. It is very important to follow it. The UGC has clearly asked the colleges / universities to liaise with the local government, governance and health department so that they do not face any emergency situation.
The UGC has asked for a three-tier plan in its guidelines. First, at the level of Central / State Government. Second, at the level of the organization president. Third, at the teacher level. It has been asked to create a standard operating procedure i.e. SOP for hostel as well as other educational activities.
Among the guidelines issued by UGC for universities and colleges, the first to ask research scholars, post-graduate students of science and technology programs and final year undergraduate students (for placement) to reach the college / university.
What has changed on the college campus?
A thermal machine will be kept at the gate of the college to check the temperature of students and staff. Rules like mask, social distance will apply for all. Only 50% of students will be in college at a time.
Not all students will stay together, so classes may be scheduled in separate sections with fewer students. This will increase the timing of the college and keep the campus open for longer.
The president of the institution will be responsible for deciding how many students and other staff will be in the classroom, library, dining hall, hostel at a time. Each organization will have to coordinate with the health department and tie-up with a nearby hospital as needed.
There will be no cultural activities and meetings in the colleges. However social distance in sports and extra-curricular activities is allowed, they can be continued. The decision will rest with the president of the organization.
Only open hostels if absolutely necessary. Do not allow room sharing. Students returning to the hostel will have to stay in quarantine for 14 days. If someone gets Kovid-19, they will not be allowed to stay in the hostel.
Any student or faculty member on campus who is positive will be isolated. The healthcare support system must be ready. Similarly, students and staff living in hostel campuses have to stay away from the market. Provide as many essentials as possible on campus as much as possible.
Social and physical contact and access to the area where the positive patient is found will be strictly prohibited. Not starting classes, leaving room for hostels, mess takeaway arrangements will also be closed for now.
Who has what to expect in UGC guidelines?
From Central / State Government: Government and health departments have to liaise with universities and colleges. We have to plan to face unprecedented situations with Covid-19.
From the president of the organization: They have to make a standard operating procedure (SOP) for the organization. Have to tie-up with hospitals, health centers, NGOs, health experts. Create a calendar of educational activities. At the same time a task force of representatives of faculty, stocks, students, community volunteers, NGOs, health organizations and government officials should be formed.
From teachers: Teaching plan should be made keeping in view the time table, class size, teaching method, assignments etc. Be aware of the availability of e-resources. Teachers are expected to monitor students’ physical and mental health.
Parents: Don’t let children go out if they are sick. Follow good eating habits and take measures to boost immunity. Parents should encourage children to do yoga, exercise, meditation and breathing related exercises so that children can stay mentally and physically healthy.
For students: It is necessary to wear a face mask. Everyone is compelled to have social distance and hygiene. If you are sick, stay at home, do not go to college or university. Go to college only if it is very necessary to consult with a faculty member.
What does UGC have to say about attendance?
The Ministry of Education has not made attendance compulsory for schools, but the UGC guidelines do not address this. It simply states that students studying online should be provided with online study material and teaching-learning e-resources.
Institutions will have to organize for international students who cannot join the program due to international travel and visa-related restrictions. Online teaching-learning arrangements can also be made for them.