The University Grants Commission (UGC) has issued a new set of guidelines for reopening universities and colleges nationwide under the unlock phase. Hence, the colleges and universities will gradually reopen after 8 months of complete lockdown. However, the Covid-19 protocols and the social distancing norms will be abided with utmost care. Therefore, students’ safety will be maximized by implementing all precautionary measures.
As per the new UGC guidelines, all the universities and colleges falling outside the contamination zone shall reopen. However, this reopening will undertake in a phased manner with consultation from the respective state or union territory government. The guidelines have got a green check from the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Home Affairs, and the Ministry of Health. Hence, all these three primary ministries have well evaluated the situation before agreeing to it.
Statement of the Education Minister on the UGC guidelines:
Ramesh Pokhriyal, the Education Minister announced the release of the UGC guidelines on his Twitter account. He said, “ It is a request for the educational institutions, the students and all the faculty members of the education sector to comply with the new set of guidelines for better safety and a bright future.” Hence, he requests to assure students safety and precautions.
New UGC safety guidelines:
1. A six-day week schedule will be followed.
2. Small-sized classrooms and breaking into multiple sections to promote social distancing.
3. Extended teaching hours as students will attend classes in a phased manner.
4. All institutions should monitor disinfecting measures, secure students health, screening and detecting the contaminated person, and prevent covid-19 spread.
Hence, all of this will promote social distancing. With a six-day schedule, students will come to colleges on alternative days. Hence, social distancing will be promoted with fewer children. Also, the breaking of the classes into smaller divisions will further ensure the safety and social distancing protocol. However, the state government in full authority will act as deemed fit by them. Hence, the main decision of the university reopening lies with them.
UGC guidelines for PG and final year students:
UGC is allowing the re-joining of PG students especially from science and technology backgrounds who need to resume their laboratory works. Hence, these research programmers and postgraduate students are less in number and thus maintenance of precautions will be easy. However, social distancing protocols and other precautionary measures are to be strictly followed.
Final year students are also allowed to re-join as the online mode of study is not accessible for all and these students need them the most. Hence, better study, placement purposes, and internships can be the reasons for their re-join. However, the final decision over this issue lays in the hands of the authority who will work as deemed fit by them.
Online mode of study will continue as the preferred mode of education. E-resources and study material will be made available to them in abundance. Hence, they will not have to face any problems and can continue with their study from home. International Students who can not join due to visa problems and travel restrictions can also continue online classes without any hindrance. Hence, International online class will keep on going even after the resumed physical classes.
Hostels will open only if very necessary. However, the sharing of rooms will not be allowed and symptomatic students will be shifted to the quarantine wards. Hence, all the preventive measures have to be applied and ensure the best safety.