The University of Delhi recently announced the reopening of the colleges, departments and centres affiliated with the University in a phased manner. Classes will be continued online and as well as offline. Practical classes for final year students pursuing Undergraduate(UG) and Postgraduate(PG) courses from DU and affiliated colleges will commence from September 15. However, theory classes will be conducted online till further notice.
Delhi University has also allowed Department and college libraries to reopen. The decision has been taken by the DU administration following guidelines issued by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA).
Some of the major guidelines and instructions by the DU administration:
Both teaching and non-teaching staff should be fully vaccinated against the COVID- 19.
The students who wish to attend the offline classes should have at least received one dose of the vaccine. The students who are to live in hostels should be fully vaccinated.
Theory classes for both Undergraduate(UG) and Postgraduate(PG) courses will still be conducted online. Practical classes and other activities for the final year UG or PG students will be allowed in offline mode from September 15, with 50 per cent of the total accommodation.
Attendance in offline classes is voluntary; there is no attendance compulsion.
- Classrooms/Practical rooms/Laboratories will be filled only up to 50% of the working capacity and only a limited number of experiments and exercises will be carried out for now.
- Libraries have been allowed to reopen from September 6, 2021. However, if there is a lack of adequate space, keeping in mind social distancing, then only the issuing of books can be allowed. To make this process easy, colleges and departments can give prior slots and appointments to students to avoid overcrowding.
- Final Year students may also come for academic consultation and placement purposes, as decided by the institute.
- COVID-19 safety protocols must be followed at all times and everyone must wear masks and ensure the use of sanitisers along with maintaining social distancing.
Varsity officials, including Gupta and acting vice-chancellor PC Joshi, held meetings with college principals to discuss the reopening plans.
“Holding online classes parallel to practical work will not be a challenge since we have a set-up in place. While students want to return to the campuses, parents are concerned about their safety due to the previous waves of Covid. It is a sensible step to continue online classes because we need to tread carefully,” said Manoj Sinha, principal of Aryabhatta College and general secretary of DU principals’ association.
Sinha also said within the DDMA and University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines, colleges can also arrange for academic tutorials, if needed. “Although the teaching workload will increase, it will be manageable. We are enabling our classrooms so that teachers can use internet facilities in college to take online classes from our premises and conduct the lab work offline, as per a fixed timetable.”
Hardeep Kaur, a teacher of Zoology in Ramjas College, said, “It was difficult to manage offline and online classes when the in-person practicals resumed last year. I had to repeat one experiment six to seven times to ensure that physical distancing was maintained among students at all times. Students also need hands-on experience in conducting the experiments so that they build on their skills. However, the rising Covid-19 cases along with making these classes non-mandatory may lead to a low attendance.”
Universities and other educational institutions across the country have been closed since March 16, 2020, when the government of India announced a nationwide lockdown.