Chief minister Mamata Banerjee has said colleges and universities in Bengal will reopen from November 16 but many of the institutes in Calcutta are yet to decide whether in-person classes will resume in a phased manner or not.
Some colleges said they were planning to call only the final-year undergraduate and postgraduate students once campuses reopen.
The institutions are refurbishing their infrastructure while awaiting a government advisory on reopening.
An official of the education department said on Tuesday an advisory would be issued in a few days. Metro finds out the plans, concerns and the confusions.
St Xavier’s College, an autonomous institution, held a meeting on Tuesday to finalise steps towards resuming in-person classes.
The principal, Father Dominic Savio, said the parents would have to send consent letters before the students are allowed to attend on-campus classes.
“We cannot force students to come (to the college) amid the pandemic. So those at home will continue to attend online classes,” he said. The practical classes of the outgoing postgraduate students and BEd students will be held in the first phase. In the second phase, outgoing postgraduate students of non-lab subjects will be called to the college.
Loreto College is planning to call the outgoing batches of BA, BSc and MA and the incoming BEd batch.
Lectures will be live-streamed for the students who will not be able to go to the college.
“Many of our students come from places like Chandernagore and Bandel. Since suburban trains are not running, they may not be able to come,” said a college official.
“We are happy to be opening college in the offline mode after a year and a half. We are contemplating bringing back the outgoing batches of students of B. A./ B. Sc., M. A., and the incoming class of B. Ed. students. We await a circular from the state government.” said Sister Christine Coutinho, the principal of the college.
Apurba Roy, the vice-principal of Asutosh College, said they were renovating the infrastructure.
Colleges and universities are unsure how the UGC guideline to allot separate rooms to students in hostels can be implemented. More worried are colleges that are fully residential, such as those run by Ramakrishna Mission.
An official of a Mission-run college said four students usually shared a room in their hostels. “Single-room occupancy is ideal. But that may not be possible if students of all years are called back,” he said.
The same concern is bothering Jadavpur University, which provides hostel accommodation to around 2,000 students.
Some colleges said they did not start drawing up any plan at this stage because that might become irrelevant once the advisory is issued.
An official of another college in Calcutta said many of the students from districts would be unable to attend in-person classes.