Many Delhi University colleges have open classrooms to ensure physical distancing

Delhi University colleges also provide regular counseling to students facing psychological issues

Delhi University colleges keep open classrooms to ensure physical distancing

NEW DELHI: Many colleges in Delhi University are holding classes in open grounds and also in batches to ensure physical distancing as the majority of students started attending physical classes after the university reopened after a hiatus in two years imposed by Covid. The colleges also offer regular counseling to students facing psychological issues to help them adjust to the new environment.

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The University of Delhi reopened last Thursday and the students are numerous. Colleges expect more students to arrive in the coming days. However, the return of a large number of students poses problems in ensuring compliance with Covid protocols. In addition, cases of physiological problems have increased among students, according to college principals. With this, the colleges are scrambling to ensure that quality education is provided to the students and at the same time their health is not compromised.

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“We try to follow all the Covid protocols. As the students come in large numbers, it is difficult to maintain social distancing. There is also an issue of overcrowding. Social distancing is not possible but we strictly respect the wearing of masks and other protocols,” Anju Shrivastava, director of the Hindu university, told PTI. As colleges open after a two-year lull, Shrivastava believes it will take time for things to calm down. “We still have students arriving. It will take time to fully open and we are working on it. We hope to settle in very soon. We have to prioritize everything – from classes to the cafeteria to the hostel. All things are to be considered,” she noted.

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Meanwhile, the principal of Ramjas College, Manoj Khanna, noted that the level of anxiety was very high among the students. “Suddenly the psychological problems among the students increased. The level of student anxiety is very high among the students. We refer them to counsellors,” he said. He claimed that it is quite difficult to maintain social distancing inside campus. “Our infrastructure is not such that we can fit all students, so we are taking classes in batches. We cannot isolate students. Although we try to maintain social distancing in classes, but students find themselves at outside and it is very difficult to force them to maintain social distancing,” he added. The colleges said they ensure that appropriate counseling is provided to students.

Headmaster of Guru Tegh Bahadur Khalsa College, Jaswinder Singh said, “We have trained counselors. We provide counseling to students. The counselor comes twice a week. telephone number of the student adviser”. To avoid overcrowding, some teachers also take classes in the open. “We have given freedom to sit outside to hold open-air classes. Several teachers are taking open-air classes,” the headmaster of the Hindu college said.

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Miranda House director Bijayalaxmi Nanda said the priority was to provide students with a full university experience bearing in mind that their health is not affected. “We suggest the college has open ground as transmission is less when they are out in the open. We ensure they are outside and in class when asked to open doors and windows. We make sure they wear masks,” she said. The principal also informed that the college is launching a new welfare program for this year to provide monetary support to students facing financial difficulties. “We are also working to provide support to students, such as providing them with living expenses. By next week, we are creating a list of students who need social assistance and we will provide it to them as the cost of subsistence in the city may have increased,” she said. “Apart from the scholarship, this is the novelty that we are starting, which will only be available for this year. Under this, the monetary support will be given to needy students. Based on the need, an amount will be provided to students during this time as social assistance,” she added.

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