As for the abandoned academic time, the teachers ensure it can be made up “within twelve to eighteen months of the edge of the crisis”.
A committee of teachers at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi has tuned for higher education institutions to enlist new students in January 2021 and put off face-to-face classes for a year in a suggestion introduced to the HRD Minister this month.
The proclamation of the accomplishing autumn semester as a ‘zero semester’, the suggestion states, would provide institutions the time to “complete the formalities” for the recent semester/academic year, which was upended by the Covid-19 outburst, and promote their infrastructure for online teaching.
“This may be achieved through an assortment of, the sensible use of occurring online reserves (such as NPTEL and Ekalavya), moving partway to the flipped mode of teaching, deduction of vacation periods, establishing online resources for primary school students, etc,” states the proposal accessed.
Among the signatories to the suggestion is Nalin Pant, a professor at the department of chemistry at IIT-Delhi, who is also a unit of the institute’s Board of Governors. He substantiated to this newspaper that the document was sent to the HRD minister this month and also accepted to the IIT Council for consideration, through the institute’s director.
The recommendation for the six-month delay has been justified on the ground that the rescue of students to the classrooms can put the teachers, their parents, and grandparents at risk. “Given the particular arrangements in classrooms and hostels, learners are likely to be super-spreaders and even if they are not in the susceptible group, they can easily spread the virus among those who are unarmed (e.g. teachers, parents, grandparents, etc.),” the document reads.
The community has also asserted that the time till January 2021 should be utilized by the higher education institutions to “come together to compress help and develop techniques for optimal online delivery and evaluation”.
“The emphasis should be on assuring that students in deserted areas and poor connectivity are not left backward. For example, such students could be inquired to visit the nearest educational institution for online examinations. Central institutions like IITs, IISERs, Delhi Univ, etc should take the head in this,” the proposal states.