Mumbai: Some colleges start practical classes, others unsure as Covid-19 cases rise
City colleges that were preparing for partial reopening are now unsure of doing so, following a rise in the number of reported cases of Covid-19. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is yet to announce Covid-19 protocol for colleges to reopen.
Meanwhile, some colleges have reopened partially for final-year students. “Our students are worried about not understanding important practical concepts online, so with the consent of their parents, we have started allowing not more than 15-20 students to our laboratories on a single day, for practical sessions,” said Hemlata Bagla, principal of Kishinchand Chellaram College in Churchgate.
“Exams will be conducted soon and our students were worried about not being prepared. We have also scheduled preliminary examination for students starting March 3 and only those who wish to appear for the exams offline will be encouraged to do so while the rest appear for the prelims online,” said Bagla.
Other colleges are cautious about reopening in view of the increasing number of Covid-19 cases. Raju Shinde, principal of St Xavier’s College in Dhobi Talao, said the Covid-19 figures raised doubts about reopening.
There was confusion last week when the University of Mumbai (MU) first directed affiliated colleges to reopen on February 22 and then issued another circular that said colleges in Mumbai city and suburbs would remain closed until further direction from local civic authorities. “With the government going back and forth, we are left confused. Our students are waiting for their practical classes to begin,” said Kishore Peshori, principal, Smt MMK College of Commerce and Economics, in Bandra.
Students said the uncertainty was adding to their anxiety. “At least give us a clear picture instead of announcing dates, only to withdraw it. Our practical classes have been deferred for too long,” said Akshata, a third-year student from Sathaye College in Goregaon.