Few turn up as colleges reopen

Few turn up as colleges reopen

Students weigh risks and benefits as campuses throw their doors open for the first time since April

Baldwin Methodist College, Hosur Road, reopened with just 10 students.

After staying closed for seven months, Bengaluru colleges reopened on Tuesday. Attendance was poor.

The reasons are many: some students are still in their hometowns, and across the board, parents and students are weighing the risks and the benefits.

All students and staff are required to present a Covid-19 test negative result in order to return to the campus.

Baldwin Methodist College, Hosur Road, reopened with just 10 students. Joshua Samuel, principal, says, “Most parents don’t want to take their children to the hospitals for testing.” He is requesting the BBMP to test all students and staff on the campus.

A majority of students at NMKRV College for Women are yet to get tested. The college insists on Covid-negative certificates and consent forms from parents before admitting students on the campus. Snehalata Nadiger, principal, says, “There are about 30 of the final year students on the campus now.”

NMKRV held its mid-semester examinations online. “Even if the numbers are small, offline and online classes will continue simultaneously. Offline classes will be streamed online,” she says.

Option given

St Joseph’s College (Autonomous), Langford Road, has reopened to conduct exams. About 1,500 students wrote their exams on Tuesday.

Kiran Jeevan, PRO, says, “We have all mandatory measures in place including a 20-member task force to enforce the protocol. Not all students are appearing for the examinations.” Students can’t take the exams before presenting a Covid-19 negative certificate and a consent letter from their parents. “We have organised testing on the campus to make things easier for students coming from across the country,” he says.

‘Better prospects’

Vogue Institute of Art & Design opened its doors, but only 10 of its 90 turned up.

Vijaya Kumar, director and principal, says parents are afraid that a second wave of Covid-19 is imminent.

“A majority of our students are from outside Karnataka and have expressed their apprehension about travelling. Around 50 per cent of them have agreed to come back by next week,” he says.

Many parents don’t see a reason to send their wards when online classes are being conducted. “For regular courses, online classes work well. In applied and professional courses, 50 per cent are practical classes. We are saying students who return will have better knowledge and better chances during the placements,” he says.

‘Lunch from home’

Dr Naveen Kumar CM, principal, Jain College (Vasavi Campus) says the college is conducting offline classes only for sixth-semester students. “Of the 350-odd students we have, only around 50 are willing to attend classes,” he says. The college is encouraging students to bring their own lunch. “Our canteens will not be open for a while,” he says.

Mount Carmel College is conducting online exams for students in their second and third years. “Students will be asked to attend college only after January. Regular online classes are on. Teachers are expected to go to college on rotation if they have practicals to conduct,” says a staff member.