The covid-19 pandemic that has hit the entire world unanticipatedly and has reached to its extreme. Cases of patients are taking flight and the financial, economical and global conditions are deteriorating down the river. Amid all such circumstances, the Ministry Of Health and Family Welfare has allowed reopening of schools and colleges from 21st September. Many parents are not ready for sending their wards to schools. They are waiting for the exact vaccine to be made. Simply they are scared of the pandemic.
Now, it’s upon the nation, the public what they want? Do they want to let the pandemic pass or to get up and start their regular work by being cautious and careful? As we know online mode of learning has played a key role in the lockdown period. Students have gained knowledge via online mode but everything has its limitations.
Reasons why the ministry has taken such step:
- Firstly, in the online mode of teaching there is lack of monitoring and students do as they like.
- Secondly, online education is based on the gadgets you have. At present many families have lost jobs and are under financial crunch. It’s very tough for parents to arrange gadgets for every single child in the family, it is getting difficult for some families who are not able to provide the necessary items to their children to let them study. Various students are left with nothing to study as they can’t afford the online means to attend the class.
The online classes require:-
- A very good internet connection
- A smartphone or Laptop or Desktop
- A very favorable environment with zero noise pollution
- Proper hearing aids
When will the schools reopen?
The Union Government has left over on the state government for the reopening of the schools and colleges. The higher education institutions, universities and colleges want to call back their students, especially the new students who have enrolled in their college because have to be registered properly and made familiar with the environment of their new environment for knowledge.
Read the complete UGC guidelines at:- www.ugc.ac.in
Steps undertaken amid the pandemic:
- Temperature screening of teachers and students will be mandatory on the campus during entry and exit.
- Wearing a three layered mask for every faculty member and the students is compulsory.
- According to the state guidelines the visitor should not be allowed to enter the premises, during emergency there should be proper social distancing.
- Extra co-curricular activities and meetings should usually be avoided.
- If by chance any person is found to be positive for covid-19, he or she according to the UGC guidelines should be isolated immediately.
- The number of students who will be attending the classes should be half the total strength and the remaining will have to continue the online classes.
Generic Preventive Measures/COVID-19 Appropriate Behaviour
The following public health measures are to be followed to reduce the risk of COVID-19 by all (faculty members, employees, students and visitors) in these places at all times:
- Physical distancing of at least 6 feet to be followed as far as feasible.
- Use of face covers/masks to be made mandatory.
- Frequent hand washing with soap (for at least 40-60 seconds) even when hands are not visibly dirty. Use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers (for at least 20 seconds) can be done wherever feasible.
- Respiratory etiquettes to be strictly followed. This involves strict practice of covering one’s mouth and nose while coughing/sneezing with a tissue/handkerchief/flexed elbow and disposing of used tissues properly.
- Self-monitoring of health by all and reporting any illness at the earliest.
- Spitting shall be strictly prohibited.
- Installation & use of Aarogya Setu App shall be advised wherever feasible.
The guidelines of UGC discourages the opening of hostels. Sharing of rooms will strictly be prohibited by all the hostellers. The resident students should avoid or limit visiting markets and outside places. All the institutions should follow the rule of 14 days of quarantine for the outsiders. The necessary items will be tried to be provided within the campus.
Some rules that have asked by the students to follow at all times:
- Self-discipline is most important to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic through social distancing and maintaining hygienic condition.
- All students should wear face covers/ masks and take all preventive measures.
- May consider installing ‘Aarogya Setu App’ in the mobile.
- It is important for the students to be physically and mentally fit to handle any exigencies. By remaining fit, they can take care of others also.
- The students must inculcate activities that will increase immunity-boosting mechanism which may include exercise, yoga, eating fresh fruits and healthy food (avoid fast food), sleep timely.
- Discrimination of fellow students in respect of whom there is a history of COVID-19 disease in the family be avoided.
- Give support to your friends under stress due to COVID-19 pandemic.
- Students should follow the guidelines, advisories and instructions issued by the Government authorities as well as by the universities and colleges regarding health and safety measures in view of COVID-19 pandemic.
Indian higher education system is very large and diverse. There are various types of universities, colleges and institutions offering programmes ranging from engineering, technical, medical, sciences, humanities and social sciences at undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctoral level, besides research and extension activities. Also, they vary in their geographical conditions, size, infrastructural capacity, types and duration of programmes etc.
Therefore, the issues and challenges faced by them in reopening their campus also vary considerably. Keeping in view the uncertainties of future due to COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the functioning of universities and colleges, they may plan to reopen their campuses in a phased manner, ensuring safety, health and well-being of all students and staff. They should be flexible in their plan and should be ready to handle any eventuality arising due to COVID-19.
It may be difficult to comprehend all the challenges/ situations which the higher education institutions may be required to handle while they plan to reopen
Author:- Shyam Narayan Singh from invertedmirror.com