Degree colleges will not reopen offline classes for the next one month, announced Uday Samant, higher and technical education minister of Maharashtra on Friday. This decision has been taken as a precautionary measure against the third wave of Covid.
Samant said, “Reopening offline classes and degree college campuses means getting a large group of students together in a classroom. With the risk of the third Covid-19 wave, gathering students in one place might lead to spread of infection.”
Samant added, “Students might then spread it to their parents and family members which in turn will lead to the spread of infection in the society or community where they live. We cannot afford such high risks at a time when cases are under control in the state.”
At present, there is no provision to reopen degree colleges offline or resume offline classes for the next 15 days to a month, Samant said.
Agreeing with the minister, degree college professors said offline classes should resume only after all students, faculty members and staff are vaccinated and the situation is under control. Mrudula Bedi, a professor of a degree college at South Mumbai said, "There is no point in reopening offline classes now because there is a huge risk of the third wave. Secondly, all students, professors and staff are not vaccinated yet."
Chandrayan Yadav, another professor said, "The state will have to allow students, professors and staff to commute by local train services if they decide to reopen offline classes in degree colleges. This might pose several risks. Instead of going back to a full lockdown, degree colleges should continue to remain shut offline while online classes can continue till the situation is under control."