Colleges in Maharashtra will reopen from February 15 with 50 per cent attendance in view of the present COVID-19 protocols. For college students the rule of minimum attendance of 75 per cent will be waived for this year because of the coronavirus pandemic led lockdown, announced Higher and Technical Education Minister Uday Saman here on Wednesday.
He, however, said all hostels may not reopen from February 15 as some of them are being still used as quarantine centres. The minister noted that the colleges will have to strictly follow the standard operating procedure (SOPs) with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic. “The students and staff members will have to wear face masks, and maintain social distancing inside the campuses. The Universities and colleges will have to provide sanitisers inside the campus,” he added.
As reported by Free Press Journal, Samant had said that he had held a meeting with the vice chancellors on Monday and they were in favour of restarting the colleges and universities. He had added that the decision will be announced in two to four days. The minister had stated that some vice chancellors have suggested that in some places online classes should be started. While in few other places, students can attend classes physically. He announced that the SOPs will be prepared in accordance with the UGC’s guidelines.
State Governor BS Koshyari had also held a meeting with the vice chancellors of all the universities last week and reviewed annual audit, filling up vacant posts and preparations of the universities for starting physical classes. He had also asked them to discuss the issues over the difficulties in resuming physical classes with all the teaching and non-teaching staff.
“I came to know through newspapers about reopening of Class 5 to 8 in schools across the state, hence not allowing physical classes at colleges and universities look contradictory," the governor had said.
The state government has already reopened classes for students of grades 5 to 12 after keeping them shut for over 10 months.