The Odisha government on Sunday announced that physical classes in colleges and universities in the state will resume from January 11 for the students of final year undergraduate and post-graduate courses. The penultimate semester exams for the students of UG/PG courses will be held from March 16 to March 31 and the final semester examinations will take place between June 16 and June 30, a notification issued by the Higher Education department said.
The government decided to reopen colleges and universities considering the improvement in COVID-19 situation in the state and the huge academic loss of students due to the pandemic situation. Classroom teaching has been suspended since March 2020.
“The State Public Universities and Government as well as Non-Government Degree Colleges (coming under H.E.Department) are hereby directed to commence physical classroom teaching for students of 2020-21 Final Year UG/PG courses from 11-01-2021(Monday)," the notification said.
The government also issued a guideline for the conduct of classroom teaching which should be held in a regular manner to cover all chapters of the syllabus irrespective of coverage of some chapters by on-line mode. “Whenever possible, the physical classroom teaching shall be recorded and shared with absentee students," the guideline said adding that COVID-19 prevention protocols need to be followed.
It has been made mandatory for all the persons coming to colleges and varsities to wear facemasks. Social distancing should be maintained in classrooms and, if needed, crowded classes can be divided into batches and teaching hours in a day can be extended, the guideline said. However, teachers, students and staff residing in active containment zone shall not come to their institutes, it said.
Hostels will be opened from January 10 only for 2020- 21 final year UG/PG students as well as Ph.D., M.Phil. and other research scholars. In order to compensate for the lost days, physical classes should be conducted on all days except the examination period, Sundays, January 26 (the Republic Day), February 16 (the Saraswati Puja) and April 1 (the Utkal Divas).
To this extent, the Common Holiday List-2021, communicated to all degree colleges by the higher education department is hereby superseded, the guideline said. Teaching and research activities of Ph.D., M.Phil. and other research scholars shall also commence in physical mode with effect from January 11, it said.
State Private Universities under the department may also consider to commence classroom teaching of final year UG/PG courses from January 11 by following this guideline to the extent applicable.