Lecturers, principals want colleges to remain open

Students are vaccinated, they argue; Minister also not in favour of closure

Lecturers and principals of degree and engineering colleges in the city are demanding that colleges should not be closed as students and staff have all been fully vaccinated.

The State Government has decided to close all colleges and schools — barring Classes X, XI and XII, and medical and paramedical colleges — from Thursday due to the rise in the number of COVID 19 cases in the State. Students will have to shift back to online classes.

In fact, C.N. Ashwath Narayan, Higher Education Minister, too said he was not in favour of closure of degree and engineering colleges. “I will impress upon the Chief Minister to not to shut down degree and engineering colleges. We will be requesting an exemption for colleges as our students are vaccinated and we do not want academics to be affected,” he said.

Sources in the Department of Higher Education said the issue of colleges was not even discussed at the meeting with Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday. “They only discussed about closing down schools in the city and did not discuss anything about colleges,” a source said.

H. Prakash, Principal, Maharani Arts, Commerce and Management, said many students were disappointed that they had to revert to online classes. “The students’ academics has been affected over the past two years. Physical classes are going on well after students have completed their vaccination and they are able to grasp concepts easily. Students say that if colleges are closed now, it would affect the continuity in academics,” he said.

An assistant professor of a government college said that it was “unscientific” that schools and colleges have to be closed, but malls, restaurants, theatres and pubs are open. A second year degree college student said that the lecturers were struggling to complete the syllabus on time. “The odd semester is supposed to be completed by February-end. But if we switch to online classes, our lecturers will not be able to complete the syllabus,” she said.

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