Dismal attendance forces colleges to go back online

Dismal attendance forces colleges to go back to online classes

Colleges have sent SMSes to students, asking them to take online classes and to not turn up for physical classes

A lecturer adjust the camera to facilitate online learning at Seshadripuram Degree College, Bengaluru, on November 17. Credit: DH photo/Pushkar V.

Dismal student attendance for four straight days has forced several colleges to fully go back to online classes. 

Colleges have sent SMSes to students, asking them to take online classes and to not turn up for physical classes. Some engineering colleges declared to conduct even internal exams online. 

Few students have turned up since colleges reopened on November 17, after eight months of shutdown. Most colleges reported less than 10% attendance. 

The principal of a private degree college said only 12 students out of the total 1,200 had attended classes in the last four days. 

The principal of an engineering college said that given the dismal student attendance, it would be uneconomical to run offline classes. “We have to sanitise the classrooms every day and that costs money. We have asked students to take online classes until things improve,” the principal stated. 

A final-year student at an engineering college said the principal asked him to not come to college and attend online classes. “I was the only student who's been going to college since November 17 but no classes were held. The principal asked me not to come as they are conducting only online classes,” the student said. 

Things were so bad that the University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering reported zero attendance on Friday, too, prompting the vice-chancellor of Bangalore University, Prof K R Venugopal, to hold an online meeting with parents. 

According to Prof Venugopal, parents are not able to send children to college due to the delay in Covid test reports. Students must produce Covid negative test reports and parents’ consent letters to attend college. 

Following the delay, the university has decided to conduct Covid-19 testing for students and staff on the Jnanabharathi campus and the UVCE, starting November 23, when practical classes are set to start. 

BBMP shows a total of 13037 students, teaching and non-teaching staff were tested between November 16 and 19. Of them, 89 have tested positive for Covid-19. 

Lecturer tests positive after taking class

At least one BBMP-run college was found to have conducted classes without asking for Covid negative reports from students or staff. 

A faculty member at a BBMP first-grade college in Kasturba Nagar tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday evening, leaving students and staff worried. A member of the staff said the person concerned was posted on Covid duty and had reported to college on November 17 even before receiving the test report. 

“The teacher conducted classes on Thursday. By evening, her report came back positive. We were asked to come to college even before our test reports arrived,” said a teacher at the college. 

The teachers also claimed that classes were held on Friday without the campus being sanitised.