Pune colleges set to begin offline lectures from Feb 15
Colleges and universities in the state are reopening from February 15, and a circular on the lines has also been issued by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) on Thursday.
The higher educational institutes in the city have begun preparations as per the Covid protocol and are eagerly awaiting the return of students to campus after a hiatus of over 10 months due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Vidya Yeravdekar, pro-chancellor of Symbiosis International (deemed university) and principal director, Symbiosis said, “We are eagerly waiting for the students to come back. We have set up a committee to look into the details of health and safety of our students. Social distancing will be maintained. Students are requested to get RT-PCR test done before they come to the campus. We are opening from February 15 but have given a window until February 28 as many of our students come from faraway places. We will be calling them in batches and only 50 per cent can attend in class. We will have 50 per cent students in labs so we will have to juggle with the timetable. The placement teams are already here and coordinating with the industries for placements and internships.”
NT Rao, vice chancellor of MIT World Peace University said, “With the recent government announcement of colleges and universities being allowed to re-open in Maharashtra, we, at MIT World Peace University (MIT-WPU) are equally enthusiastic like our students and look forward to welcoming them back on campus. At the same time, we as a responsible institution, are adequately sensitive to the concern of parents towards their wards and have made conscious efforts to create a safe and conducive space for our students to pursue their academic goals in this new normal.”
According to Rao, cleaning and regular disinfection of frequently touched surfaces such as, doorknobs, elevator buttons, handrails, chairs, benches, washroom fixtures has been made mandatory in all classrooms, laboratories, parking areas and other common areas before the beginning of classes and at the end of the day.
“Teaching materials, computers, laptops and printers shall also be regularly disinfected. Sitting places in classes, laboratories, computer labs, libraries will be clearly marked, keeping in view the norms of physical distancing,” he said.
Aftab Anwar Shaikh, principal of Poona College of Arts, Commerce and Science said, “We are following the Covid guidelines for starting up of the colleges, but 90 per cent of our students come from public transport buses and some of them from slum areas. Along with safety precautions inside the colleges, it is also necessary to provide students a safe travelling mode. As schools and colleges resume, thousands of students will travel across the city. We will be checking and doing thermal scanning inside the college but at the same time it is necessary to have their travelling exposure to infection secure.”
Ravindra Pardeshi, principal, Fergusson College said, “We are taking extra precaution about arrangements to start the college, social distancing to be maintained properly. Also the consent from parents to send their children to college is also important, as without consent students won’t be allowed to attend the classroom lectures. Once we complete the Covid testing of all our faculties and get permission from PMC, the college will start.”