- Hardly 5 percent attendance
- All safety protocol followed
- Free RT-PCR testing goes on
Mysore/Mysuru: Hardly 5 percent of students turned up to attend offline classes on the first day of re-opening of all Colleges after a gap of eight months. Despite taking all precautions, still the final year students of Under-Graduate (UG) and Post-Graduate (PG) courses preferred to stay away from their institutions, may be due to COVID-19 scare.
“Not many students have come on the first day. The attendance may improve after one or two days,” opined Dr. B.P. Dayanand, Principal, Maharani’s Science College for Women.
The State Government decided to re-open all Colleges from today (Nov. 17) following guidelines from University Grants Commission (UGC) issued on Nov. 9. Instructions had been given to the management of all the Government and the Private educational institutions to strictly follow the safety protocol in the interest of students and teaching staff.
Last week, the Commissionerate, Health and Family Welfare Department, Bengaluru, had made RT-PCR test compulsory for students, teaching and non-teaching staff and had asked them to undergo it at least three days in advance. Students were asked to attend offline classes only if they tested negative and undergo home quarantine in case they tested positive.
All the College managements have been asked to do sanitisation of the entire building, furniture, entry points, laboratories and teaching equipment.
Permission has not been given to open the canteens and libraries till further orders.
As per the Government directives, only one entry point was opened at Maharani’s College for Girls by closing down all other gates. Each student was allowed inside after thermal screening. Of the total 700-plus students, hardly 5 percent of them turned up on the first day. Before the commencement of classes, Dr. Dayanand, Principal of Maharani’s Science College, informally asked all students to strictly wear face masks and to maintain social distancing. They were asked to bring food and hot water from home and not to share with others.
The situation was no better at Maharani’s Arts College for Women with hardly 60 of the total 673 students attending the classes. A majority of students underwent a free RT-PCR test in the premises since they did not get it tested three days ago. Instead of taking classes within the four walls, the wooden tables-benches had been put outside under the canopy where each student was made to sit on one bench. “The number of students is expected to improve once they get confidence of precaution being taken by us,” he added.
Similar scenes were witnessed at all the Government and Private Colleges like D. Banumaiah, Maharani’s Commerce and Management Degree College, B.N. Bahadur Institute of Management Sciences, Yuvaraja’s, St.Philomena’s and JSS Colleges.
Take precaution: Dist. Minister
Meanwhile, Co-operation and District Minister S.T. Somashekar has appealed to the students to take all precautions while going to Colleges in view of COVID-19 pandemic. He has asked them to follow all the safety norms like wearing masks and maintaining social distancing besides washing hands with sanitiser frequently.
Special arrangement for quarantine
The District Administration is readying a place to house those students who test positive for Coronavirus for the mandatory 10-12 day quarantine instead of sending them back to their houses.
An Officer of Health Department said this decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Deputy Commissioner Rohini Sindhuri in view of re-opening of Colleges from today. She has asked the Covid Care Centres to reserve a few beds for the College students if they test positive in RT-PCR test.
The DC has opined it was risky to send back those students to houses fearing chances of spreading to others or to keep them in hostels. Better will be to put them in quarantine till they recovered, he added.
Parents drop students
Most of the students, who attended offline classes today, were dropped in two-wheelers or four-wheelers by their parents. As a precaution, they preferred travelling in own vehicles than taking public transport like city buses.
COVID test results in 24 hours
The Department of Health in coordination with Department of Collegiate Education has organised a free RT-PCR testing for students, teaching and non-teaching staff. The health personnel in PPE kit took the swab samples from them. Results are expected to come within 24 hours. Upon the receipt of result, students will be allowed to attend offline classes.
No classes for 2 days: VC
Prof. G. Hemantha Kumar, Vice-Chancellor, University of Mysore, has said the final year UG and PG classes in all 238 Colleges in four districts which come under the purview of Mysore Varsity, will start from Nov.19.
He told Star of Mysore that this decision was taken as a majority of students have not got RT-PCR test report which was must for them to attend offline classes. In view of this, all students have been advised to undergo free test and produce report at the time of coming to College, he added.
Meanwhile, the Varsity authorities have arranged a free test for its teaching and non-teaching staff at their Departments in Manasagangothri campus. Results will be sent to their registered mobile numbers, Prof. Hemanth Kumar said.
“We are very happy to attend offline classes in our College after eight months. We were facing problem of internet in villages and voice was not audible. Now we get the opportunity to interact with our teachers.”
– D.K. Anusha, D.S. Ashwini and Seema, B.Sc final year students of Maharani’s Science College.