Bengal varsities, colleges shut till June 30
The higher education department has extended the closure of colleges and universities till June 30.
The department issued an order on May 30 to vice-chancellors, saying “all government, all government-aided, private educational institutions, training institutes will remain closed till June 30 in public interest”.
The government had earlier announced that colleges and universities would remain shut till June 10. The Centre’s fresh guidelines issued on Saturday had said a decision on reopening educational institutions would be taken only in July.
“The buildings of 7,000 institutions — colleges and schools — are being used to quarantine migrant workers,” education minister Partha Chatterjee said on Sunday.
A vice-chancellor of a state university said that the VCs wanted to extend the closure because time was needed to decide how to run classes while following distancing rules.
Another vice-chancellor said “elaborate arrangements” had to be made regarding the sanitisation of classrooms before classes could be held.
“We have to make arrangements to run temperature checks with thermal scanners at the gate before letting in students. We need to train employees on how to read temperatures on such scanners,” the vice-chancellor said.
The department has advised universities and the colleges to ensure hand sanitisers are available in every corner of the campus.
Another VC said he was worried about hostels.
Students from districts stay in hostels. The hostels have to be sanitised before letting them in, he said. “We have to decide how many students can be accommodated in a room.”
The earlier practice of accommodating three students in a room has to be done away with, a higher education department official said.
Although hostels will remain closed till June 30, institutes authorities will have to make adequate arrangements following medical protocol for foreign students who could not leave the campus, mainly because of transport unavailability during the lockdown.
The fact that college and school buildings are being used to quarantine migrant workers also prompted the government to extend the closure, another department official said.
The government has requested the ICSE and CBSE to keep their institutions shut till June 30.