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Himanta seeks views from VCs to minimise academic loss

By Rituraj Borthakur
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GUWAHATI, April 23 - Amid doubts over regularity of online classes in colleges and universities, Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma today held a video conference with 17 vice chancellors to deliberate on measures to ensure that the academic year is not lost, and to seek ideas and innovations for the learning and teaching framework.

Official sources told The Assam Tribune that the vice chancellors have been asked to submit their views and recommendations within three days, based on which the government will come up with some measures by May 3 or May 4.

While the government had suggested online classes for students, it is learnt that a majority of the colleges and universities have either not introduced it or have been extremely irregular.

Sources said even at Gauhati University, many of the departments have just uploaded study materials in �Google Classroom�. No online classes are being conducted. Students who are being engaged in online classes are also experiencing internet connectivity issues.

�The university students had classes for only about a month during the second semester which began in January. In most of the departments, even 20 per cent of the course has not been completed. Even if the classes resume in June, it will require at least two months to complete the remaining course,� the faculty members said.

Even colleges in Guwahati are yet to introduce the online teaching platform, not to speak of those in rural areas.

The officials said the vice chancellors have suggested that the summer vacation may be called off, and the semester breaks curtailed to a few days.

�According to the vice chancellors, even if the classes resume from June 10, the loss could be made up,� the officials said, adding that mandatory online classes were one suggestion made to make up the loss during the lockdown period.

The session in universities begin from August and the next batch is slated for admission in July. The university students will lose around 65 days if the lockdown continues till May 30. Classes have remained suspended since March 17.

Faculty members also said that the government could have utilised the dedicated educational TV channels and the reach of BSNL in a better way to minimise the academic losses of the students.

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Himanta seeks views from VCs to minimise academic loss

GUWAHATI, April 23 - Amid doubts over regularity of online classes in colleges and universities, Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma today held a video conference with 17 vice chancellors to deliberate on measures to ensure that the academic year is not lost, and to seek ideas and innovations for the learning and teaching framework.

Official sources told The Assam Tribune that the vice chancellors have been asked to submit their views and recommendations within three days, based on which the government will come up with some measures by May 3 or May 4.

While the government had suggested online classes for students, it is learnt that a majority of the colleges and universities have either not introduced it or have been extremely irregular.

Sources said even at Gauhati University, many of the departments have just uploaded study materials in �Google Classroom�. No online classes are being conducted. Students who are being engaged in online classes are also experiencing internet connectivity issues.

�The university students had classes for only about a month during the second semester which began in January. In most of the departments, even 20 per cent of the course has not been completed. Even if the classes resume in June, it will require at least two months to complete the remaining course,� the faculty members said.

Even colleges in Guwahati are yet to introduce the online teaching platform, not to speak of those in rural areas.

The officials said the vice chancellors have suggested that the summer vacation may be called off, and the semester breaks curtailed to a few days.

�According to the vice chancellors, even if the classes resume from June 10, the loss could be made up,� the officials said, adding that mandatory online classes were one suggestion made to make up the loss during the lockdown period.

The session in universities begin from August and the next batch is slated for admission in July. The university students will lose around 65 days if the lockdown continues till May 30. Classes have remained suspended since March 17.

Faculty members also said that the government could have utilised the dedicated educational TV channels and the reach of BSNL in a better way to minimise the academic losses of the students.

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