Mumbai: Some degree colleges set to reopen offline from Feb 15, others await BMC's final nod

With no clarity about the process, some degree colleges said they will reopen offline lectures on February 15 while, others said they will wait for a final nod from the disaster management authorities.

Degree colleges said they have not received a go-ahead from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the directorate of higher education to reopen offline lectures. Also, students are not yet allowed to commute by suburban train services during peak hours.

Degree colleges said they have initiated Covid-19 preparedness like sanitising classrooms, initiating body temperature checks and placing sign boards on campus to maintain distancing.

Pooja Ramchandani, in-charge principal of HR College, Churchgate, said, "We are prepared to reopen offline lectures from Monday as per directions of the state higher and technical education department. We have sanitised classrooms, corridors and initiated body temperature checks at entry and exit points."

Ramchandani further added, "Even though we are prepared to start offline lectures, we are not sure if students are willing to come to college amidst fear of the spread of Covid-19 infection. Also, we will continue conducting regular online lectures for those who are unable to commute to college due to time restrictions in suburban train services."

In addition, degree colleges are awaiting a final nod from the BMC and directorate of higher education. Zarine Bhathena, principal of Bhavan's College, Andheri west, said, "We need clarity on standard operating procedures (SOPs), safety protocols and precautionary measures from local administrative authorities before reopening offline lectures. The University of Mumbai (MU) has released guidelines but, the disaster management authorities know the ground level situation so they need to give final nod."

After 10 months of lockdown necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic, degree colleges and universities have been directed to reopen offline lectures from February 15, 2021, with 50 percent attendance on a rotational basis by the state higher and technical education department.

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Free Press Journal