Karnataka Govt Decides to Reopen Degree, Diploma and Engineering Colleges from November 17

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The Karnataka government on Friday decided to reopen engineering, diploma and degree colleges that were shut since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, from November 17, with students free to opt for online or offline classes or a mix of both. "In a meeting that took place under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister, it was decided to start degree colleges from November 17.Engineering, diploma and degree colleges will all start," Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwath Narayan said.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, he said students would have the option to either attend classes physically or online or go for blended learning by using both options. Those who wished to attend classes by coming to colleges should have their parents' consent, he said.

Depending on the strength, it would be decided how the classes have to be held and in how many batches, along with all necessary safety Standard Operating Procedures, he added. Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa chaired the meeting of officials from health, social welfare, backward class, finance, transport and education departments, along with Narayan on reopening of the degree colleges.

Narayan, who is also the in charge of the Higher Education Department, said all necessary arrangements will be made for students who will stay at SC/ST, social welfare and OBC hostels. Necessary transport arrangements will also be made to facilitate smooth conduct of classes,he said.

Priority would be given for practical classes, he said, pointing out that UGC guidelines also provided an opportunity to conduct offline classes from November. Students had also been demanding that classes be restarted, he said.

Narayan said the decision to reopen colleges was arrived at after several rounds of consultative meetings with all the stakeholders. Each college would have a task force, the Deputy Chief Minister said, adding that Deputy Commissioners of districts have been authorised to coordinate and monitor things at their district level.

To a question on cutting short the syllabus, "we have not discussed it for now. That flexibility will be looked into, keeping exams in view. For now, we are trying to give impetus on learning.

As per UGC guidelines we will be conducting classes.Online classes have already started in October," he said.

Further on November 17, the Chief Minister would launch the Learning Management System (LMS) portal, which, Narayan claimed, would be a first in the country, for the benefit of about five lakh students studying in government colleges. Necessary approvals and budgetary allocations have been made for the LMS, he said, adding it would be of help for students and teachers and improve the quality of education.

"It is aimed at bringing about revolutionary reforms in the education sector. We will be sharing details about this in due course."