All higher education institutions, including professional colleges, in Kerala, will be reopened on October 4. The state government issued an order in this regard on Friday.
Classes for final year post-graduate courses (third and fourth semesters) have been permitted to function with cent percent attendance. Meanwhile, the classes for final year courses for degree students (fifth and sixth semesters) can be held in batches on alternate days with 50 per cent attendance or daily provided there is sufficient room.
Educational institutions have been told to seek the assistance of local bodies, health workers and volunteers to disinfect the campuses before classes resume. The heads of institutions are made responsible for the adherence of COVID-19 protocol at campuses. Students must maintain social distancing and avoid crowding, the order states.
Online mode to continue
However, the classes for all other semesters other than those mentioned above will continue in the online mode. The colleges have been urged to devise suitable timetables to manage online and offline classes. The government has called for the formation of Jagratha Committees to monitor the safe conduct of classes.
The educational institutions have been advised to host sessions between 8.30 am and 1.30 pm. The other timings recommended for the college councils by the education department are 9 am to 3 pm, 9.30 am to 3.30 pm and 10 am to 4 pm. Institutions have been advised to devise a timetable by mixing online and offline classes, the entire duration of which should be 25 hours for a week.
Work from home to continue
Teaching and non-teaching staff must mark their attendance at the colleges. However, to balance the ongoing online classes, work from home mode shall continue and the college councils have been assigned the responsibility of scheduling the shifts on a rotation basis. The members of the staff permitted to continue in the work from home mode are mothers with babies under one year, pregnant women, and critically ill.
Even students who fall under the categories mentioned above have been exempted from having regular attendance.
Hostels to open
Students' hostels have been allowed to function by adhering to the COVID-19 protocols. The heads of institutions have been told to ensure that the protocol is strictly implemented at hostels.
Nod for practical classes
The state government has said for science subjects, practical classes could be prioritised.
Meanwhile, engineering colleges have been told to follow the present system of having six hours of classes daily