The University of Calcutta has written to the principals of all colleges under its umbrella to get their institutions sanitised within 10 days of the lockdown being lifted and to hold exams after a month of reopening.
Also read: Kolkata’s private hospitals gear up for a future with COVID-19
As of now, all colleges are to remain shut till June 10 and there is no clarity yet on the duration and nature of Lockdown 4.0.
Also read: The mystery of the low COVID-19 numbers in West Bengal
“As you know, due to lockdown our teaching-learning activities are significantly affected and we have to resume as soon as possible when the lockdown will be withdrawn. We request you to completely sanitise your college premises and hostels immediately within 10 days after the lockdown is lifted,” pro vice-chancellor for academic affairs Asis Kumar Chattopadhyay wrote in an email to the principals last Sunday.
“Part III/final semester under-graduate examinations and final semester post-graduate examinations will start after one month from the opening day of the university,” Mr. Chattopadhyay wrote. Principals were advised to keep track of the dates and schedule on the university website.
Concern over norms
While the letter is in keeping in the general sentiment that people now had to learn to live with COVID-19, many are sceptical whether norms like social distancing can be implemented in classrooms.
“The results for final year students need to be out by June 30, because their future depends on those results, but how we go about it remains to be seen,” Kesab Bhattacharya, general secretary of West Bengal College and University Teachers’ Association, told The Hindu.
“If we hold conventional exams, there won’t be enough space in the classrooms if we are to consider social distancing. Moreover, many students come from far-off places and it may not be safe for them to travel up and down frequently, so we may need to arrange for their accommodation. We will soon hold a (virtual) meeting of teachers’ representatives to find a way out. In my opinion, we may have to devise a system of assessment that does not require students to be physically present,” Mr. Bhattacharya said.
Amid the pandemic, a booklet on preventive protocol, authored by two professors from Pune, is being shared on WhatsApp groups of teachers in West Bengal. Listing numerous dos and don’ts to be followed once institutions reopen, the booklet, circulated by the Savitribai Phule Pune University, is meant for university departments and affiliated colleges. Many teachers feel the protocol can be followed in West Bengal as well.