Following a rapid decline in fresh COVID-19 infections, the Delhi government gave a nod to reopen schools and universities in the national capital. While schools in Delhi have opened up, universities are planning to resume gradually. Delhi University is a home to students from across the country, which is why officials are not in a haste to open it up. The principals, heads of departments and deans of DU held a meeting on Thursday to discuss the process of reopening.
“Our students are located all over India and we do not want to create a panic situation for them. We will reopen in a phased and careful manner so that no student is put in danger or inconvenienced. We will be reopening after discussions and in a systematic manner”, DU acting VC, P.C. Joshi told PTI. “We will reopen for some students, then see the situation. When we gain more confidence, we will open up for more students,” he added.
Mr. Joshi placed paramount importance on the safety of students. According to the reports, the campus will first open up for third-year science students. Students who need to perform practicals in laboratories will be called out first. Mr. Joshi said that the university wanted to strictly refrain from “opening the floodgates inviting the third wave” and therefore the libraries will be opened first followed by the laboratories. Other units of the university will become functional after monitoring the results of initial plans.
Dean of Social Welfare (DU) Rajeev Gupta added: “First preference for offline classes will be given to third-year students. It will include students from science streams and other courses where practical work is involved and laboratories are required. It can include courses like psychology, mathematics, linguistics and so on. Preference will be given to courses which require hands-on experience.”
“After the first phase is implemented, we will see how it goes. Once the exercise is successful, we will extend it to other batches and courses. Outstation students are most likely to be called from the second week of September but attending offline classes is completely voluntary,” added Mr. Gupta.
The university also debunked the false notice that claimed resumption of offline classes from 20th September for second and third-year students.
In August, the Delhi University had issued a notice for resuming offline classes for science students. However, the notice had to be deferred as teachers expressed displeasure.
“We had to retract the earlier notification since the DDMA had not issued any guidelines… (now) DDMA guidelines have come and we will follow them. We will continue with online classes as well,” Mr. Joshi added.