Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government has issued an order to reopen all higher educational institutions including professional colleges from October 4. As per the order, offline classes for final year degree classes (5,6 semester) and Post-Graduation classes (3/4 semester) are allowed to resume.
The order issued by the Higher Education department pointed out that the colleges can conduct the classes by accommodating all the students of final year batches.
If necessary, classes can be conducted as separate batches by accommodating 50 percent students in a single batch, reads the order. The classes can be conducted on alternative days or regularly according to the availability of space.
Priority should be given to practical classes in science courses. Classrooms, library and laboratories in each institution should be completely disinfected ahead of the reopening. The institutions can seek the help of local bodies, health workers and voluntary groups for the same, noted the order.
Other recommendations in the order are as follows:
- The head of the institutions must ensure that all students are following COVID protocol inside the campus. Availability of handwash, sanitiser, masks and thermal scanner must be assured. Crowding of students and violation of social distance norms must be avoided.
- The educational institutions should contact the health department to conduct a special vaccination drive for students and staff.
- It is better to conduct the classes as a single session from 8.30 am to 1.30 pm. Or the college councils can choose time schedule according to their convenience as 9 am to 3 pm, 9.30 am to 3.30 pm and 10 am to 4 pm.
- 25 hours class in a week should be assured by preparing the timetable for offline and online classes.
- Classes for other semesters should be continued virtually.
- Procedures of the college council should be informed to the university and directorate of collegiate education through the collegiate education deputy director.
- Engineering colleges can conduct 6 hours long classes regularly.
- Teaching and non-teaching staff should report at the colleges. But the college council must ensure that online classes are not interrupted. Hence, a particular number of teachers should be allowed to work from home after ensuring the availability of teachers for offline classes.
- Mothers of children below 1 year, pregnant women and people suffering from serious ailments among teaching and non-teaching staff must be allowed to work from home. Attendance is not compulsory for students who belong to this group.
- Hostels for students must be reopened. Heads of the institutions must ensure that COVID protocol is strictly followed in the hostels.
- Vigilance committees should be formed to ensure COVID protocol in classes. Teachers, non-teaching staff, parents, local body representatives, health department representatives, fire force and police officials should be included in this committee.