“Only final-year students in small batches will be allowed to visit their respective colleges for laboratory/practical sessions and other related activities such as projects, training and placements as per the discretion of the respective principals. This is in line with the UGC guidelines and SOPs and MHA order,” says DU registrar Vikas Gupta while talking to
Education Times. The measures, he says, are being taken to prevent covid spread in addition to addressing parents’ concern about students’ well-being.
“Colleges have also been asked to open their hostel facilities for which students will be allowed in batches. There are around 20% outstation students for whom hostel is a necessity even as they are expected to attend the practical sessions,” Gupta adds.
“Final-year students need to complete their practicals, since degrees cannot be awarded without completion of course content. This, however, is not the case with first/second year students who can complete their practicals once colleges open fully in the next academic session,” Gupta says.
Ramjas College saw only eight students at the campus on the first day of reopening and only one student at the Chemistry lab. “We cannot compel them as they are expected to attend their practicals voluntarily. Students from Delhi-NCR facing border tensions, or from across the states facing severe covid situation are yet to join,” says Manoj Kumar Khanna, principal, Ramjas College, DU. In the last semester, the college had used virtual labs to conduct the practicals, but with the situation yet to normalise, 100% attendance is not a feasible option, he adds.
Babli Moitra Saraf, principal, Indraprastha College for Women, says her college is functioning fully and teachers are conducting online classes. The challenge is to provide hands-on training to the students from the far-off areas. “It is too early to say how the situation will unfold. The departments have announced the schedule for practical classes but will keep it flexible to suit students’ needs and their presence in the city.”
At Hindu College, students have been “trickling in” for the practicals of Zoology and the Physical Sciences. “The College had created video demonstrations of experiments and virtual simulations for Physics that had worked well but there is no substitute for hands-on experience which is what we are trying to implement,” says principal Anju Srivastava. She hopes the class size to increase though not more than 10 students/batch can attend each practical session.
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