RECOMMENDATION OF THE UGC TO THE UNIVERSITIES AFTER THEY RE-OPEN THE COLLEGES
New Delhi: Universities and colleges across the country should develop a “foolproof plan” before beginning the new academic session (2020-21) in August-September this year, an expert UGC committee has suggested.
This plan must include recording the travel/stay history of all students and faculty members, adhering to social distancing norms, and making lab-work virtual, according to the sources.
The committee has said the new academic session may start in August-September if the situation turns back to normal.
These recommendations were submitted by the committee to the University Grants Commission (UGC) on 29th April.
The committee, headed by Haryana Central University Vice-Chancellor R.C. Kuhad, was constituted by the UGC to look into several issues related to the new academic session, holding exams in universities and colleges amid the Covid-19 lockdown, among others.
Take all necessary precautions
According to the report: “The universities should develop a foolproof plan before the resumption of session, strictly following the norms of social distancing and other required precautions, to avoid any eventuality arising due to Covid-19.”
It further advised that “universities shall strictly comply with all precautions and preventive measures to curb the spread of coronavirus”.
“In view of the importance of social distancing, universities may take necessary steps to ensure that the students are given exposure to laboratory assignments/practical experiments through virtual laboratories, sharing of the recorded visuals of laboratory work and digital resources available for the purpose,” the report said.
Virtual classrooms, video conferencing
The report also suggested ways in which institutes can prepare themselves to deal with a similar crisis in the future.
The committee suggested that 25 percent of the syllabus should be completed online and the rest 75 percent should be completed through classroom-teaching.
“In order to overcome such challenges in the future, the faculty should be adequately trained for the use of online teaching tools, so that they complete about 25 percent of the syllabus through online and 75 percent syllabus through face to face teaching,” it said.
Institutes have also been advised to develop virtual classrooms and video conferencing facilities.
“All teaching staff should be trained with the use of technology. Universities should prepare e-content, e-lab experiments and upload the same on their websites,” the report added.
The UGC is expected to soon issue a set of guidelines for colleges and universities on how to go about with the new session based on the recommendations made by the committee.
~ Abdul Qadir