Published: 03rd September 2021
UoH starts calling back students to campus in a staggered manner, classes to continue in blended mode
For students who joined the MA programme in 2020, the UoH campus is as yet unexplored territory, and they are looking forward to being introduced to the place
As schools and colleges were finally given the go-ahead to reopen, institutions are faced with the task of re-initiating students back into the fold and ensuring their safety too. The University of Hyderabad (UoH) is calling back all vaccinated students who are willing to come and have signed an undertaking in phases by October 15. The students are required to stay in quarantine for three days. These were the recommendations of the second Task Force set up by the central varsity this year after the second wave of COVID-19.
Chairman of the Task Force, B Rajashekhar said,” Right now we are conducting classes online. We are not forcing students to come. Only if a class has 100 per cent of students back on campus and are willing to attend physical classes, will we stop the online classes. Until then blended teaching will continue. We will broadcast the physical classes live for those who want online classes,” he added.
Entrance exams are on for the fresh batch of 2021, and even though classes will start in October for this batch, the Task Force has planned another phased initiation into the campus for the freshers. “We will have to call another 2000 students from the new batch. We want to call them in phases up until December this year. By January if the situation normalises with COVID, we will hopefully have all students on campus,” he said
On August 17, the varsity had issued a circular from the Task Force that said, “... It also reviewed the pandemic situation in the country and has noted that the situation in about 10 states continues to be worrisome. The emergence of the Delta variant of the Coronavirus is also a cause for concern. The TF has already recommended the return of all MPhil (including 2020 admitted) and all PhD students (excluding 2020 admitted Social Sciences, Humanities, Economics, Sarojini Naidu School of Arts and Communication and Management).”
However, the students had raised objections to this particular instruction. “The third-semester students of Masters courses were told that we won’t be called back unless we need labs. We were told this on the first day of the third semester. It was so depressing. We were just contemplating life for a few days, and considering taking up full-time jobs if classes were online anyway,” says a student.
The students had then written to the Task Force and were told that there will be a meeting soon. On August 28, again a new circular was issued which said, “The Vice-chancellor has approved the Task Force recommendation that all students admitted up to and including the 2020 batch from all academic units be called back to the campus by October 15, 2021, in a staggered manner.”
Poulami Seal, UoH MA Media Studies, semester 3 student, who is currently based in Kolkata said, “I would want to go. There are no two ways about it. I have a thesis to finish in pairs with a classmate of mine. The chance to sit together and chalk out a plan is priceless. Research doesn’t work virtually. You don't understand the game. Peer to peer learning and the give and take of knowledge means a lot to a Mass Communications student. I will go when they add my name to the list of returning students, which they are doing in a phased manner on the website.”
For students who joined the MA programme in 2020, the UoH campus is as yet unexplored territory. A student who spoke with Edexlive said, “We are desperate to be on campus. We need to be around people of our age. We are facing mental health issues because of the pandemic. And we would like to be treated as freshers for a while, for people to show us around the campus and give us a couple of weeks to just familiarise ourselves with the place.”