Maharashtra Higher education minister Uday Samant, ahead of re-opening of collages in the state, extended wishes to students and urged them to follow COVID-19 related norms of government and universities.
Taking to Twitter, the minister wrote'"Colleges are starting from the 20th .. My appeal to all student friends is to strictly follow the rules laid down by the government and universities while coming to college. Your safety is also important to us. Best wishes to all of you!" (Translated from Marathi).
वीस तारखेपासून कॉलेज सुरू होत आहेत..विद्यार्थी मित्र व मैत्रीणींना माझे आवाहन आहे सर्वांनी कॉलेज ला येताना शासनाने आणि विद्यापीठांनी घालून दिलेल्या नियमांचे काटेकोर पणाने पालन करा.. आपली सुरक्षितता ही देखील आम्हाला महत्वाची आहे.आपणा सर्वांना मनापासून शुभेच्छा.!— Uday Samant (@samant_uday) October 18, 2021
Colleges in Maharashtra which are to reopen in two days have a strict schedule to follow. Issued by Mumbai University, the SOPs concern and affect colleges authorities, staff and students. However, parents are generally not too convinced.
Only those colleges which are not in containment zones will be allowed to reopen. Additionally, students and staff staying within containment zones should not be allowed entry. Not all parents agree on this.
Sunita Oneil Fereira, 51, Mumbai (Mother of Sean Oneil Fereira) said: “Colleges should be closed till Covid has been fully eradicated. Some students are vaccinated, while others are not. It is also critical for pupils to study from home. College should be both offline and online. Offline at some point is also preferable as students in college enjoy it with their mates. Additionally, certain criteria must be followed to ensure that everyone at the college is completely vaccinated.”
Colleges have been asked to stagger lecture hours for different programmes which will make it easier at entry and exit modes. Social standing, maintaining hygiene and earring masks need to be maintained at all times, say the directive.
But for many parents, these precautions are not enough.
“Offline education exposes students to live interaction with instructors," adds Deepa Mhankale, 42, of Pune. When questioned about the influence of offline college, she quickly said, "Offline education is the best source of learning and has a greater impact than online education. Additionally, colleges should permit only fully vaccinated students."
All staff, authorities and students need to keep a copy of their vaccination certificate with the principal. Students who are not fully vaccinated have been asked to continue with their online lectures till they take the second dose. All canteens and shops within the campus and outside will remain shut till further notice.
One parent FPJ spoke too however begged to differ from other parents. “Colleges, in my opinion, should begin offline, as these are the years that will be remembered afterwards, and we are missing them. We are unable to engage with a range of diverse individuals in person, and online interaction is not a substitute. Additionally, the government should restrain from imposing forced attendance requirements on pupils. Students have become accustomed to remaining at home and are uninterested in online courses”, adds Leena Honey D’souza, 45, Mumbai.
The SOPs will affect about 837 colleges in Mumbai, Thane, Raigad, Palghar, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg.
(With inputs from staff reporter)
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)