Many private colleges to open today as uncertainty looms
While there has been no official communication from the government on reopening of colleges under its administration, many private engineering colleges in and around the city have asked their students to get back to classes on Monday after close to a month’s closure owing to the anti-Sri Lanka protests.
Students of several popular engineering colleges said that they had received communications in the form of text messages and e-mails from their professors stating that the college would function normally from Monday. “My professor also said we could have longer working hours in the coming days to compensate for the time lost,” said R Vishwa Chandran, a third year Mechanical student at an institution on the OMR.
However, private arts and science colleges said they would wait for government directions. “Our colleagues in the government colleges said they will remain closed on Monday. We too are not inclined to open without specific directions,” said the Principal of a college.
Law colleges too are set to remain closed on Monday.
Meanwhile, the continuing suspense over the reopening colleges in the State has triggered concern among a cross-section of academics and university officials.
Academics say further delay in the opening of professional institutions could seriously impair the admission prospects of final year UG students in foreign universities and national institutions for higher studies.
“Initially we were hoping that the Higher Education Department will direct us to reopen the colleges after the UNHRC resolution was passed against Sri Lanka. But officials appear to have not made up their minds yet fearing that students could regroup once the institutions are opened. This has serious implications for us as we may not be able to stick to the academic calendar proposed by the Supreme Court for engineering colleges,” says a senior administrator at the Anna University.
Some private engineering colleges in Chennai, Coimbatore and a few other places have unofficially been conducting classes over the past few days. “We can’t mandate all colleges to follow this model. We are racing against time as we have to conduct the end-semester exams. It will take at least one month for us to complete the valuation of answer scripts and declare results. Students need at least provisional certificates to seek admission in PG courses,” the official explains.
Officials at the Anna University, the nodal agency for conducting the single window counselling for Tamil Nadu Engineering Admissions, are also concerned that the prevailing impasse could affect the counselling process as well.
Higher Education Department officials said a meeting would be convened in a day or two to sort out the issue and take a decision on the reopening of colleges.