New Delhi: Following Manish Sisodia’s announcement on Friday that colleges can reopen on September 1, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi University, and Jamia Millia Islamia will convene internal meetings to discuss resuming academic activities.
In view of a decline in Coronavirus cases, Delhi University announced earlier this month that it would hold physical classes for Science stream students. Following this, a section of teachers had expressed displeasure with the university’s decision to call students to campus.
Later, the university deferred its decision, with the registrar of DU saying that the Delhi Disaster Management Authority has not issued any guidelines for campus reopenings.
Regarding the Delhi government’s recently announced reopening of schools on September 1, Gupta said, ‘We have an executive council meeting on August 31 and we will plan after that and hold a meeting. We won’t be able to resume from September 1. Whenever we open, we will first open for Science students.’ Due to Covid, Delhi University closed since March last year, but allowed final year students to return to their colleges in February to take classes and access labs.
As a result of the second Covid wave, classes were suspended again in April. Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar, vice-chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University, said administration officials will discuss the matter internally once an official order is received. ‘Whatever are the guidelines issued by the government with respect to Covid, we will follow as an educational institution. Our students are spread across the country and some of them might be living in places where the pandemic is still there. We will give them some time to return. Once the government order comes, we will discuss and plan so that students are not left inconvenienced,’ Kumar said.
The university’s student union has been demanding the re-opening of campus phase by phase. On September 1, schools for classes 9-12, colleges and coaching organizations will reopen in Delhi after a prolonged closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In spite of the recent brutal progress of Covid-19 in Delhi, this decision was taken. The second wave saw many lives being lost and oxygen shortages at hospitals across the city.
In response to this, Jamia Millia Islamia said it would wait for UGC guidelines before taking any decision regarding the resumption of physical education classes. ‘We will discuss the reopening of campus with our decision-making bodies — the Academic Council and Executive Council and all the stakeholders. We will also wait for the UGC guidelines in the matter,’ he said. ‘We have many students from Kerala where a large number of coronavirus cases are being reported so we will have to see. We might not be able to open hostels because proper arrangements for food and other things need to be made,’ he added.
According to the official order, the Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University and the Ambedkar University will follow all guidelines. An official from Ambedkar University said a plan of action will be drawn up in consultation with school deans.