J&K govt orders reopening of Colleges, Universities from Monday

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Higher Education Institutions to re-open in Summer zone of Jammu from Feb 1; in Winter zones of Kashmir & Jammu Divisions from February 15

Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir Government on Thursday ordered reopening of degree colleges and universities across the Union Territory in a phased manner from Monday.

According to an order issued by Higher Education Department here, these will reopen in summer zone areas of Jammu division on February 1 and in Kashmir along with winter zone areas of Jammu after the conclusion of winter vacations on February 15.

The UT government has already ordered reopening of schools in a phased manner from Feburary 1. While the classes from 9 to 12 will “physically open in a staggered manner’’ for academic activity on February 1, the elementary classes will resume from February 8 in summer zones of Jammu division. These will resume academic activity physically in winter zones of Jammu and in Kashmir Valley after the conclusion of winter vacations.

Issuing several guidelines to be followed by staff and students of colleges and universities after resuming physical academic activity, the order asked for formation of an Advisory Committee by the Registrar/Principal of the University/College including members from Municipal Bodies, Health and few parents for monitoring and support of the Universities/ Colleges. It advised the institution heads to make adequate arrangements of thermal scanners for screening of the students, faculty and staff to avoid the risk of transmission, adding that the symptomatic ones be advised to get clinically assessed before allowing them entry into the campus. 

It also asked them to make available sanitizers and face masks at all entry and exit points including the reception area, adding all students, Professors and other staff should wear face masks compulsorily and have their own sanitizer also with them. Besides, the Students shall sit almost 2 meters apart from each other.

In case of non-availability of such space, staggered schedule/shift timings and students rotation can be an option to be devised by Registrar/Principal concerned, according to the guidelines issued as per UGC norms.

It added that sufficient hand washing points with proper soap should be made available for the students and Staff at suitable locations within the premises of HEIs. Everybody should wash hands frequently maintaining proper physical distance. Safe water, cleaning supplies and sufficient segregated toilets shall be kept operational.

Pointing out that touching of surfaces by the students, Professors and other staff members in and around the area of college should be cautioned against and prohibited, it called for disinfecting, sanitizing and cleaning the learning spaces, laboratories to be ensured as per protocol in all the Institutions.

While coming and leaving colleges, the order said, students and staff should maintain physical distance of at least one meter from each other and no student or staff member should breach this distance rule either during the colleges/universities or while coming or leaving the institute. In all cases gathering or grouping should be avoided and everybody should come and leave college/university individually.

In addition to above advisories, the continuous monitoring of the students and faculty be ensured and also the Isolation facilities shall be put in place in the campuses for symptomatic persons and quarantine facilities for those who were in contact with the positive tested persons and Rapid tests for Covid 19 be got conducted for such cases, it added.

It also called for avoiding all such programmes and extracurricular activities where physical distancing is not possible, asking Universities/Colleges to ensure there is space to temporarily separate sick students and staff without creating stigma. Share procedures with staff, parents and students, including advising all sick students and staff to remain home.

The higher education institutions were also asked to limit any non essential visitors, volunteers and activities involving external groups in the Colleges/Universities. Hostels may be opened only in such cases where it is necessary while strictly observing the safety and health preventive measures as per instructions of the University Grants Commission.

Director Colleges/Registrars of all Universities and Nodal Principals Jammu/Kashmir shall strengthen counseling facilities for 24×7 for needy students and faculty, the order added.