BENGALURU: While there is no official announcement yet about the start of the academic year offline for college students, top officials from the education department have indicated that colleges will reopen offline in the first week of November, and preparations for the same are on.Deputy Chief Minister Dr C N Ashwath Narayan, who is also Higher Education Minister, told reporters on Monday that the department is preparing to reopen colleges in November. UGC has come out with an advisory for state governments to reopen colleges, he said.
The DyCM had said this will be confirmed after a meeting with Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, which is scheduled in three days, a source said. A top source from the department confirmed to TNIE that the department is looking to open colleges in the first week of November. However, students will be given a choice between offline and online classes, the source added.
A committee of current vice-chancellors of universities, that met on Saturday, also reportedly suggested that classes be held on Sundays too, if need be.“The committee can only recommend how colleges can be opened, and not the schedule, which has to be decided by the UGC and government. A hybrid model of education, instead of going completely offline, will help decongest the campus and hostels,” a vice-chancellor told TNIE.
In the meantime, the department has also mandated Covid-19 tests for teaching and non-teaching staff in private, aided and government degree colleges that come under the ambit of the state education department. Personnel in the office of the joint director have also been asked to undergo the test.The official said there is no confirmation whether students will be subject to it before commencement of offline classes. Meanwhile, AICTE has allowed engineering colleges to start the academic session from December 1. It was earlier scheduled for November 1.AICTE has also extended admission deadlines for first-year courses in engineering colleges to November 30. This is owing to “prolonged emergent conditions and requests from state governments and ongoing admission processes of IITs and NITs”.