Maharashtra to start physical classes in colleges, varsities soon
Maharashtra higher and technical education minister Uday Samant said that the colleges and universities won’t be allowed to start physical classes with 100% attendance as it would be a risk
Maharashtra higher and technical education minister Uday Samant on Tuesday said they have taken an in-principle decision on restarting physical classes in colleges and universities and are in the process of preparing the standard operating procedure necessary for the safety of students. The final decision of the state government will be announced in a couple of days. In government parlance, in-principle decision means the government has decided on a particular issue but the final decision will be taken after working out details.
He also clarified that the colleges and universities won’t be allowed to start physical classes with 100% attendance as it would be a risk. This is going to be done in phases.
On Monday, the higher and technical education minister asked the vice-chancellors of all the universities to come up with plans for resuming physical classes in view of Covid-19 pandemic.
“In principle, we have decided to reopen the colleges and universities as all are if the same view be it me, vice-chancellors, governor (Bhagat Singh Koshyari) and the chief minister (Uddhav Thackeray). With the help of universities, we are in the process of preparing standard operating procedure, which is important considering the safety of students. A proposal has also been moved to take final decision in the state disaster management authority meeting here’s by the chief minister,” Samant told ABP Majha, a Marathi news channel.
In the next couple of days, a decision of students’ choice will be taken, he said, adding the government is taking precautions to ensure physical classes won’t lead to rise in Covid-19 infections.
The higher and technical education minister said he has apprised the governor, who is also the chancellor of all the universities in the state, about the state’s plans that they won’t be allowing colleges and universities to start with 100% attendance. “Physical classes are going to be started in phases. We will decide how much attendance is required to start them in the beginning and increase the percentage of students gradually as the situation improves,” he said.
Samant also said that many hostels are still being used as quarantine centres by the state health department for those affected with Covid-19 and their close contacts. “We also have to decide on how to restart hostels for outstation students. A detailed discussion was held with the vice-chancellors in Monday’s meeting,” he said.
The meeting was called after the vice-chancellors had last week called for the immediate resumption of colleges and universities in a meeting with the governor. On Friday, after meeting with the vice-chancellors, Koshyari said allowing physical classes for schools and not allowing them for colleges and universities seemed contradictory.
Schools across the state, except in Mumbai, have been reopened for students from Class 5 to 12.