Only hold important classes on campus
Colleges have reopened across the city from February 15 with students allowed to attend classes in batches. The college management have put in place safety precautions related to the coronavirus. With Maharashtra seeing a spike in Covid-19 cases since Wednesday (February 10), suggest steps that the state, local and college authorities should take to prevent and avoid campus outbreaks.
Strictly follow safety precautions
Now that college campuses have reopened for students after 11 months, the coronavirus cases are reported to be on a rise in the city. Hence, masks should be made mandatory for students, teachers and staff as a precautionary measure on the campus. Sanitiser should be available for students on the premises of the college. Some lectures can be taken online while practical and important lectures can be taken offline. As college offices will be seeing a rush as students submit exam forms and fees, steps should be taken to ensure that social distancing and other Covid safety measures are in place.
Thermal checks of students must
College authorities should arrange classes in batches, making mask, sanitiser and social distancing norms mandatory on premises. The temperature and oxygen level of students (thermal checking) should be checked. Arrangements should be made to ensure prompt medical assistance to those found with possible Covid symptoms.
Continue with online classes
The intention of reopening college campuses for students may not be a good idea as Maharashtra is witnessing a rise in Covid infections. Hence, the authorities should continue online classes till June 2021 to check the possible next wave of the virus. This practical implementation would have served better for students to avoid the possible risk of getting infected and cleared their academic year exams by June 2021. Plus, I feel if the government tries to implement new rules in haste, many students will find the new restrictions distracting when they are preparing for exams. Hope the government takes adequate steps to check the possible spread of virus.
Avoid unnecessary gathering at campuses
Proper sanitation system should be in place at colleges and students should be asked to follow sanitising norms, besides strictly wearing mask and following following social distancing at the campus. Colleges should try to hold maximum lectures online, and allow offline only for practical and important lectures. Colleges should avoid holding public functions on the campus. Relaxation must be granted to students on 75% compulsory attendance policy. Students should not be allowed to spend time at the campus unnecessarily. We should accept the “new normal” caused by the Covid pandemic and follow safety measures.
Colleges should have offline classes twice a week
It is okay to reopen college campuses provided Covid guidelines are followed strictly. However, the classes should be limited to practical and problem solving sessions. The colleges should reopen twice a week with reduced classroom hours to facilitate students to complete courses with minimum Covid risk.
Following prevention norms should be top priority
Though students are excited to meet teachers and friends on campuses after a long time, authorities should take steps to ensure they follow the Covid prevention norms. Teachers should undergo Covid test as they will be meeting students. Tables and chairs should be arranged at classrooms as per social distancing norms. Equipment used by students for practicals must be regularly sanitised. As many private coaching institutes have resumed offline classes by following the Covid prevention norms, likewise colleges can also resume classroom teaching.
Students should avoid casual approach on social distancing
Unless students follow the precautionary measures seriously, the efforts of educational institutes will not be fruitful. Although vaccine is out still it is not given to the general public and our lax attitude in following the Covid safety norms could cause a surge in cases in the city. Student movement at campuses should be strictly monitored. They should not be allowed to hangout after lectures. Casual approach and disregard for advisories issued by the authorities could pose virus spread risk.
Authority should promote self-care at campus
We are carrying out thermal check of every student at the gate and keeping a record. The student strength at classrooms has been limited to 50 per cent. Students have to sanitise hands every time they enter classrooms. Equipment used by students are sanitised after every class. Wearing a mask or covering you face is mandatory for students and staff. Students, teachers and staff who fall ill are asked to stay home. Self-care is promoted on campus by the college authority. Least physical interaction is allowed on campus, especially during in group projects and library reading. Also, we are offering yoga and health classes to students.
Nutan Kanegaonkar Kulkarni
Colleges must follow precautionary measures
While we desperately want to attend college in person and carry out our education via physical classes, there are still a number of students from our batch who are sceptical given the rising case count in Maharashtra, which is currently the largest contributor to the overall count in the country. Hence, things are still on the edge about the Covid situation but I believe all this can be handled well if proper sanitation and social distancing measures are put in place.
Follow norms strictly
After passing my SSC (Class 12) exams, I was excited to go to college but the Covid pandemic limited our classes to online. Things were slowly returning to normal before the sudden surge in cases became a cause of concern. We are supporting the college authorities and following Covid guidelines. If students follow the prevention norms then offline classes can be conducted in a secured environment.
Carry one extra mask on campus should be made compulsory
Students and college authorities need to work together to check the spread of Covid at campuses. Closing campuses again should not be considered, but safety norms should be implemented strictly. Keeping one extra mask should be made compulsory for students. Hanging out in groups should be avoided.
As told to Jigar Hindocha