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SOP for colleges out; students, staff to produce COVID-19 negative report to attend classes

Educational institutions can extend teaching hours, if necessary; colleges told to map the closest PHCs

College students who wish to attend physical classes from November 17 will have to mandatorily submit a COVID-19 negative report.

The State government on Monday issued a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) that will have to be followed by degree colleges and universities.

The SOP states that both students and staff will have to undergo RT-PCR test three days prior to attending the classes. Students will be allowed only if they submit a negative report.

Colleges have been told to map the closest primary health centres so that the students and staff can get tested for free. Only 50% of the students will be allowed to attend classes per shift.

Educational institutions have also been told that they can extend the teaching hours if required.

While this has been slammed by student organisations who want the colleges to conduct only limited classes, department officials said that this extension was allowed if colleges wanted to conduct classes in shifts.

A representative should be chosen from each class who should be vested with the responsibility of monitoring the symptoms of all students, the SOP says.

Canteens, libraries shut

Colleges and universities have been told that the library and canteens should remain closed and students will have to bring food and drinking water from home.

The SOP says those attending offline classes will have to get consent from their parents and wear mask. In case of online classes, institutions should provide contact classes to clear doubts.

Lecturers have also been asked to provide syllabus to students a month in advance via Telegram, WhatsApp, or email.

All students exclusively of postgraduate and final year who attend online or offline classes can stay in hostels located on campus or off campus.

“We have started online classes from September 1, and till now have finished around 60% of the syllabus and the remaining has to get over in the remaining time. We have to concentrate on practical labs. Even if students come to campus, we can manage. We don’t have any issues to conduct classes by following all SOPs,” said Nataraj A.G., principal, AMC College of Engineering.

Sadashive Gowda, principal, Vidyavardhaka College of Engineering, Mysuru, added: “The SOP is quite clear and is implementable. It gives importance to final year students for offline classes besides continuation of online classes for them. However, for lower years, provision for contact classes is made along with online classes. If all the hostel residents turn up for the offline classes it would create a serious problem to implement SOP in hostels. Another challenge I foresee is maintaining social distance by students within the campus but outside classrooms.”

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