Reopened after 8 months, colleges see low turnout

Reopened after 8 months, colleges see low turnout

Some colleges witnessed single-digit attendance

Representative image. Credit: iStock.

The undergraduate and postgraduate colleges in the state, which reopened after eight months, on Tuesday have not received expected response from the students.

The number of students turned up on the first day was very less. According to the principals of several degree colleges in Bengaluru, "many students preferred to attend classes through online mode as there are both online and offline options available."

Prof T D Kemparaju, Vice Chancellor, Bengaluru North University said, "The response was very poor for offline classes, but online has seen full attendance."

Despite necessary safety precautions in place, authorities expect that not many students will attend physical classes for the first one week. "I called my friends yesterday, but none of them were ready to come to college. They said they would prefer to attend after a week looking at the situation. But as I don't have a proper internet connection at home I had to attend physical classes," said a final year degree student of Maharani Cluster University.

Meanwhile, even the long weekend due to Deepawali festival was also one of the reasons for less attendance at colleges on day one. "Some students have been to their home towns and they have not had time to get the Covid-19 test. So, we hope to see an increase in attendance after Wednesday," said a principal of a government degree college.

Some colleges witnessed single-digit attendance, but teachers managed to take classes for two-three students and also streamed the same class on online mode also.

Some of the colleges in the city decorated the premises with colorful balloons to create a festive mood at the campus for welcoming students to colleges after eight months. "When the students enter the campus after this long break, they must feel happy. This is why we have decorated the entrance and also the classrooms," said a principal of a private degree college from Central Bengaluru.

The colleges and universities have put all safety measures in place as per the UGC guidelines and state higher education department notification. Students have to wear mask and carry food and water from home. Thermal scanning was done at both entry and exit points, 6 feet distance needs to be maintained inside class rooms, no crowding inside or outside the campus, all classrooms have to be sanitised a day before reopening.

Going a step ahead, some college managements have arranged Covid RT-PCR test for students and staff at the campus on Tuesday. "Some students and parents expressed that they prefer taking the test at the college premises and considering that we have arranged for the same on day one. Those who got negative report were allowed to attend classes," said the principal of another private degree college.

The state higher education minister Dr C N Ashwath Narayan visited a few of the colleges to verify the reopening arrangements. During the visit the minister interacted with students and tried to boost their confidence.

Issues raised by students

- Government must issue student bus passes

- Number of students at hostel rooms should be restricted to two

- Colleges/government must conduct Covid-19 tests for students every 15 days

- Emergency services like ambulances must be available on the campus

- Number of washrooms should be increased