Colleges in Karnataka reopen to lukewarm response

Several colleges in Karnataka reopened on Tuesday with COVID-19 protocols in place, after remaining shut for eight months due to the pandemic but the attendance was thin.

The state government had ordered reopening of colleges and resumption of offline or regular classes from November 17, stipulating conditions including production of a negative RT-PCR test report.

Deputy Chief Minister Dr C N Ashwath Narayan, who holds the higher education portfolio, had told reporters earlier that regular classes were necessary as the online classes would not suffice and students would miss out many lessons in the absence of good internet connectivity, lack of proper gadgets and the requirement for practical classes.

However, there was thin attendance in colleges, sources said.

The government had said a negative RT-PCR test report confirming no coronavirus infection was mandatory for the teachers, administration, staff and students.

Students will also have to submit a no-objection certificate by their parents, permitting their wards to attend regular classes.

Sanitisation of the classrooms, hand sanitiser, face masks and social distancing will be mandatory for the teachers and the students.

The St Joseph College, Maharani College and RV College, were among those in Bengaluru which resumed regular classes, saw thin attendance, according to sources.

Many colleges did not open as they were waiting to complete certain procedures like sanitising classrooms and obtaining the RT-PCR test report of teachers and students.

In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, Karnataka Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar appealed to the college administration and students to adhere to precautionary measures.

“Be sure to wear mask, clean hands, and maintain physical distance. No need to panic but be cautious. All the best, Sudhakar tweeted.

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