Edn dept closes university, colleges; all academic activities online

RGU students resent hostel closure

RONO HILLS, 26 Apr: The education department has issued a circular, informing that all higher education institutes of the state will be closed from 1 May and all remaining classes and academic activities will be held online.

The decision has been taken in view of the surge in Covid-19 cases across the country and in the state, on the advice of the state health & family welfare department, and as per the 24 April notification of Rajiv Gandhi University (RGU).

The university, colleges and polytechnics across the state will also close down their hostels and all the boarders/students have been instructed to “vacate the hostels before 1 May (Saturday) positively.”

All the private universities and central autonomous institutes in the state have been asked to prepare their respective examination/academic calendar as per the UGC/MoE’s latest guidelines and intimate about the same to the district administration concerned and the education department.

However, all the offices of the higher educational institutes shall remain open, following all the Covid-19 protocols and SOPs, “as per the requirement of the head of the institute,” the circular read.

“This notification shall remain effective until further orders,” it read.

Meanwhile, the final semester postgraduate students and research scholars currently residing in the university hostels have expressed resentment over RGU’s move to close down the hostels.

A student there said that “the general feeling is that we do not want to vacate the hostel.”

“Everyone does not have the right atmosphere for studies at home. We get loaded with other responsibilities once we are at home. As hostellers, we get easy access to the library and to the teachers to get our doubts cleared simply by walking to the department,” she said.

Another student said that it would be difficult for him to attend online classes since his village has no internet connectivity and he would have to shift to a rented accommodation to attend the online classes and complete and submit his assignments.

“I would prefer that we be allowed to stay in the hostel with strict SOPs, but I’m not sure how well we would adhere to them. I am still on the fence about it,” he said.

However, another student said that “hostels should be closed down as it is the second wave of the pandemic and the university would not take the responsibility if something happened to the students.”

The RGU Scholars’ Forum is also going to submit a letter to the RGU vice chancellor on Tuesday to allow boarders to stay on, with assurance that Covid-appropriate behaviour and all SOPs would be maintained by the students.