City colleges prepare to reopen campus for PG, research students – Times of India

Chennai News

CHENNAI: After months of online classes due to the pandemic, city colleges are preparing to open up campuses to postgraduate science and technology students and research scholars from December 2. Guidelines issued by the University Grants Commission (UGC) require boarding students to undergo 14 days quarantine before attending in-person classes.
Sources in various colleges said parents of a majority of students are not willing to send their wards to colleges due to fear of contracting Covid-19.
Many institutes have finished online classes for UG second and third year students and PG final year students. Online semester exams are likely to begin next week and some colleges plan to allow PG students into campuses only from next semester.
“We plan to let research scholars into our campus from December 2,” said Thomas Amirtham, principal of Loyola College. The college is planning to conduct semester exams for UG and PG students from the first week of December.
A survey conducted by the college showed 65% of parents were not willing to send their children for in-person classes. “We are discussing with the heads of departments about reopening our campus from next semester. They’ll brainstorm and come up with ways to conduct classes, practicals and maintain social distancing. But single-occupancy hostel rooms may not be affordable for many of our students,” Amirtham added.
Paul Wilson, principal of Madras Christian College, said the college is ready to reopen as per directions from the government and has even prepared standard operating procedures for hostels, classrooms. “But parents aren’t comfortable sending their children to campuses. Of 300 students we inquired, only around 30 were willing to return to campus from December 2. Parents have a lot of questions and reservations for which we don’t have answers,” he said.
DG Vaishnav College is working on evolving SOPs and the institute has comparatively less PG science students making social distancing possible, principal S Santhosh Baboo said.
SRM Institute of Science and Technology plans to allow students pursuing medical courses to return to campuses. “Some research scholars are back and PG students can either return to campus or contineu to attend classes online,” said Sandeep Sancheti, vice-chancellor. The deemed university may split engineering students into two or three batches for practical classes. “Theory classes will be held online only,” he said. He said the biggest challenge with reopening campuses would be facilitating 14-day quarantine for hostel students.
Many state universities including University of Madras and Anna University will take a final call on Monday about reopening campuses for PG students and research scholars.
“We have called for a meeting of hostel wardens to decide protocol to be followed in hostels after reopening,” said S Gowri, vice-chancellor of University of Madras.
Anna University has also convened a meeting on Monday to decide on reopening and issues such as quarantine.