Mumbai university hints at another academic year online
With exams to most undergraduate and postgraduate courses in colleges affiliated with the University of Mumbai (MU) coming to an end, the varsity is now busy planning the new academic year. While an official statement is yet to be released, varsity officials have confirmed that the upcoming semester 2021-22 academic year will be conducted online.
“We have put together a team of experts which also includes deans of all faculties to chalk out a detailed plan for the next academic year. Since Covid-19 cases are still being recorded across the state, the new academic year will have to commence online,” said a senior official from MU. He added that the university will release circular highlighting rules and regulations for the new semester within a week.
Amidst confusion over the regular lectures last year, the university had released a notification in the last week of August, directing all colleges to start the 2020-21 academic year online from September 7, 2020, onwards. Many colleges struggled for a few weeks before getting used to the virtual classroom routine. This year colleges seem much more prepared for regular lectures as well as exams.
“We have asked for suggestions from several stakeholders and are trying to incorporate the most efficient ideas in a way that both students and affiliated colleges ease into it. While we know that lectures will have to begin in online form only, there are suggestions for hybrid teaching module as well, which could be implemented once the Covid-19 situation in the city improves,” said another official from MU. He added that for now, colleges will be asked to continue the same virtual format that they followed throughout 2020-21 to ensure a smooth transition from one year to another.
In December 2020, MU released a circular clarifying the academic timetable for the 2020-21 academic year which clearly stated that exams have to be completed by May end and the summer vacation dates are from June 1-13. “As per this circular, we are reopening our college for the new academic year on June 14 and have already started preparing for the semester online. Students and parents too are unsure about physical classes, especially with the fear of a third wave looming over us,” said Marie Fernandes, principal of St Andrew’s College, Bandra.