The date of reopening was on Saturday postponed to October 12. Pune municipal commissioner Vikram Kumar said a revised order allowing colleges, coaching classes and training institutes to reopen from October 12 was issued on Saturday. Kumar did not give any reason for the change in the date of reopening.
Pimpri Chinchwad commissioner Rajesh Patil told TOI that in view of the October 11 state-wide bandh, the date of reopening was pushed to October 12. “We don’t want any safety issues. Also, we want to give ample time to the college staff to prepare,” said Patil. Pune collector Rajesh Deshmukh on Saturday said colleges in rural areas will also reopen from October 12.
Institutes said they expect local students to attend lectures, but students from outside Pune are expected to arrive after the Diwali. Sharad Kunte, president of the Deccan Education Society that runs Fergusson College and Brihan Maharashtra College of Commerce (BMCC), said their institutes will reopen on Tuesday. “All our staff are vaccinated. We do not expect students from outside Pune to be back on campus on Tuesday, but local students, if they are vaccinated, can attend,” said Kunte. Classes will continue in hybrid mode because there will be some students who will not be able to attend classes in person, said Kunte.
P B Buchade, principal of Abasaheb Garware College, said more students can be expected at most colleges after Diwali. “We will resume physical classes after a week as we need get the vaccination data of students and arrange classes with fewer students,” said Buchade.
Rajendra Zunjarrao, principal of Modern College of Arts Science and Commerce, said the reopening has been planned in three phases. “The first to be called will be outgoing students, which means final-year students in undergraduate and postgraduate courses. We will then concentrate on finishing practicals for all, and then start lectures,” said Zunjarrao. According to Zunjarrao, theory classes will be held in a staggered manner with one-third of the students attending two days a week.
Vishwakarma University too is ready to reopen from Tuesday. Vice-chancellor Siddharth Jabade said 85% of their Pune-based students are partially vaccinated while the rest are fully vaccinated, according to the data they have. “In view of the significant number of students who are partially vaccinated, a hybrid model of education will be enabled,” said Jabade. Final-year students’ practicals/ hands-on examinations are a priority, he said. “Students from outside Pune will be provided with an standard operating procedure for accommodation, reaching Pune, food, health check-up etc,” he added.
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