After a long closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic, colleges across the state will reopen on February 15 for physical classes. State Education Minister Uday Samant shared this information on his social media handle on Wednesday.
Universities and institutes in the city confirmed, they were ready with all precautions and standard operating procedures for the reopening. The Savitribai Phule Pune University has some 800 colleges under it in Pune, Ahmednagar and Nashik.
“Colleges will reopen allowing 50% attendance of students at a time and hostels will start in the second phase. The universities will conduct examinations in both online and offline mode. The compulsory 75% attendance rule to appear for an examination has been scrapped, and universities will come up with a rule on attendance based on both online and offline presence. Institutes that are reopening will have to follow UGC guidelines on the reopening. And should also discuss with the local administration before they start, ” the State Education Minister said.
Principal Sanjay Kharat of Modern College, Ganeshkhind, told, “Colleges have to reopen since practical sessions for students are pending. We have drawn up batches of 50 students for laboratory sessions, and we will begin immediately.”
Students who have been demanding the reopening of colleges were optimistic about the development. There was a lot of criticism against the higher education department for the delay in announcing the college reopening especially after the state decided to start schools for standards IX to XII from November 23 in 2020 and standards V to VIII from January 27 this year.
Student activist Dayanand Shinde said they should also decide on hostels soon. As many students coming to SPPU are from outside Pune city, and they all stay in hostels.
SPPU vice-chancellor Nitin Karmalkar said they are ready to reopen. Based on the safety guidelines from the UGC, Union and state governments.
“We had already created an SoP based on the guidelines sent by UGC, and we have all preparations in place. The classes will be held in a hybrid model, but students need to come to the laboratories for their practicals. Examinations will be held in offline-online mode,” he added.