Reopening of Colleges and Universities w.e.f. 16.11.2021

Government of West Bengal has decided that the Offline classes at UG/ PG and higher level, including Ph. D. and Research works in all General Degree Colleges/ Engineering/ Professional Colleges and Universities will re-open on and from 16th November 2021.

Government of West Bengal
Department of Higher Education
Bikash Bhavan: 6th Floor: Salt Lake: KoIkata – 700091

Memo No. 1058-Edn (CS)/10M-32/2021 Dated 28.10.2021

To

  1. The Vice Chancellor, … University
  2. The Principal/ Teacher-in-Charge/ Officer-in-Charge College

Sir/ Madam,

The competent authority in the Government of West Bengal has decided that the Offline classes at UG/ PG and higher level, including Ph. D. and Research works in all General Degree Colleges/ Engineering/ Professional Colleges and Universities will re-open on and from 16th November 2021.

  1. All the Colleges and Universities shall take suitable steps for cleaning and sanitising the Campus/Campuses maintaining COVID 19 Protocol preferably by 1st week of November 2021.
  2. The Teaching and Non-Teaching Staff are permitted to attend their respective Institutions with effect from 01st November 2021.
  3. Hostels may be opened in such cases where necessary, strictly maintaining COVID norms & safety.
  4. The concerned Heads of the Institution may issue suitable passes to the Teaching/ Non-Teaching/ Students for availing Staff Special Trains, if needed.
  5. Suitable assistance of local administration may be taken as and when needed.

An Advisory for maintaining COVID norms is enclosed herewith.

Sd/- Principal Secretary

No. 1058-Edn dated 28.10.2021, Source

Advisory for maintaining COVID norms for starting of offline classes in the Universities and Colleges

1. ISSUES TO BE TACKLED:

I. Maintenance of social distancing norms in Campus, Play ground. Library and Laboratory, Classrooms and Hostels.

II. Regular Monitoring of Health

III. Sensitization of Students, Teachers and Staff

IV. Safety Measures at Entry/ Exit Point(s) and inside the campus

2. STAKEHOLDERS:

I. Students

II. Teachers

III. Non-teaching staff

3. INSTITUTIONAL PLANNING FOR COVID SAFETY NORMS

i. The institutions should train their teachers/staff on COVID safety norms.

ii. Students should be allowed in campuses only after thermal scanning, sanitization of their hands, wearing of face masks. Symptomatic persons should not be permitted to enter the campus and should be advised to contact the nearest hospital for clinical assessment.

iii. To avoid the risk of transmission, the students, faculty and staff should be screened and symptomatic ones be advised to get clinically assessed before allowing them entry into the campus.

iv. Isolation facilities for symptomatic persons and quarantine facilities for those who were in contact with the positively tested persons should be there on campus or a tie-up may be made in advance with some Government hospital or approved premises or as advised by the local authorities so that, in case of necessity, prompt action may be taken. Proper arrangement of safety, health, food, water etc. should be ensured for those in quarantine and isolation facilities.

v. Universities and colleges should prepare a policy for restricting the outsiders on campuses, study tours, field works etc., keeping in mind the COVID-19 situation.

vi. All such programmes and extracurricular activities should be avoided where Social distancing is not possible.

vii. Clean and hygienic conditions, as per safety and health advisories of the concerned government departments, are to be maintained at all places, including hostel kitchens, mess, washrooms, libraries, class rooms etc.

viii. Proper signages, symbols, posters etc. should be prominently displayed at appropriate places to remind the students, faculty and staff for maintaining Social distancing. The details of COVID-19 cell established by the institution be prominently displayed containing the emergency number, helpline number, email id and contact details of persons to be contacted in case of any emergency in the institution.

ix. Ensure the norms of Social distancing, sanitization and hygienic conditions for use of common facilities, viz., Library, Auditorium, Conference/ Seminar halls, Sports, Gymnasium, Canteen, Parking Area etc.

x. The institutions must ensure appropriate sanitization and disinfection process and procedures.

xi. There should be multiple sanitizer-station at different places in the Institution.

xii. The institution must provide sufficient amount of sanitizer, sanitizer-sprayer, soap, disinfectant etc. to each department.

xiii. The faculty, student, staff should be screened regularly to protect and avoid infecting one another.

xiv. The visitors should either not be allowed at all or their entry should be drastically restricted. The conditions of the entry for visitors should be strictly laid down and displayed on the entry point(s). Complete contact details of the visitors be maintained along with the names of persons whom he/ she meets.

4. SAFETY MEASURES AT ENTRY/ EXIT POINT(S)

i. Adequate arrangements of thermal scanners, sanitizers, face masks should be made available at all entry and exit points, including the reception area.

ii. Crowding must be avoided at entry/ exit points. Staggered timings of entry and exit with limited strength for different programmes should be followed.

iii. In case the institution has more than one gate for entry/ exit, all the gates should be used, with adequate care, to avoid crowding.

iv. Monitoring of the entry and exit of the students should be done.

v. Screening of students, faculty and staff, wearing of face covers/ mask, sanitizing/washing of hands etc. must be ensured at all entry points.

vi. Those having symptoms of fever, cough or difficulty in breathing should not be allowed to enter.

5. SAFETY MEASURES AT THE CLASSROOMS AND OTHER LEARNING SITES

i. Proper sanitization at all learning sites should be ensured. Cleaning and regular of frequently touched surfaces (door knobs, elevator buttons, hand rails, chairs, benches, washroom fixtures, etc.) to be made mandatory in all class rooms, laboratories, lockers, parking areas, other common areas etc. before the beginning of classes and at the end of the day. Teaching materials, computers, laptops, printers, shall be regularly disinfected.

ii. Sitting places in classes, laboratories, computer labs, libraries etc. should be clearly marked, keeping in view the norms of social distancing.

iii. Wearing face cover/ mask is a must at all time. NO MASK NO CLASS should be maintained.

6. SAFETY MEASURES AT THE LIBRARIES

The colleges / universities may consider giving prior date -time slots appointments to the students before allowing them to visit libraries in order avoid over-crowding. Wearing face cover/ mask is a must at all times. Social distancing norms must be maintained in the libraries.

7. SAFETY MEASURES AT THE LABORATORIES

i. Wearing face cover/ mask is a must at all times.

ii. Social distancing norms must be maintained.

8. SAFETY MEASURES INSIDE THE CAMPUS

i. Cultural activities, etc. may be avoided.

ii. Regarding meeting. State Government protocol issued from time to time should be followed.

iii. Hand washing stations with facilities of liquid soap should be created so that every student can wash her/ his hands frequently.

iv. Regular and sufficient supply of disinfecting material, sanitizer, soaps etc. to sanitation workers should be ensured.

v. Wearing of face cover/ mask by all students and staff should be ensured.

vi. Proper cleanliness should be maintained inside the entire campus.

vii. Adequate arrangements should be made for sanitizing the entire campus, including administrative and academic buildings, classrooms, laboratories, libraries, common rooms, toilets, water stations, furniture, learning material, teaching aids, sports equipment, computers etc.

viii. Social distancing should be maintained at all places and crowding must not be allowed at any place under any circumstances.

ix. An adequate supply of water in toilets and for hand- washing should be ensured.

x. Dustbins must be cleaned and covered properly.

9. SAFETY MEASURES INSIDE HOSTELS

i. For those who have tested positive, isolation facilities should be in place either on campus itself or as a prior arrangement with some nearby hospital(s) or as advised by the local authorities

ii. There should be no crowding in hostel areas where students live in close proximity and share common facilities and utilities. Hence, their numbers need to be limited appropriately to avoid crowding. Also, hostel students should be called in phases.

iii. Thermal Screening of all resident students should be ensured.

iv. Density in dining halls, common rooms, playing areas should be limited, keeping in view the requirement of Social distancing.

v. Hygiene conditions should be regularly monitored in kitchens, dining halls, bathrooms and toilets etc.

vi. Cleanliness is to be maintained in dining areas. Meals should be served in small batches, avoiding over-crowding.

vii. Wearing of face covers/ masks and proper sanitization of hands of the staff engaged for the preparation and distribution of meals should be ensured.

10. REGULAR MONITORING OF HEALTH

i. Every institution should regularly monitor the health of its students, faculty, and staff.

ii. Teaching and Non-teaching staff and students with symptom of COVID 19 should not attend college / university

iii. Faculty, staff and students should also be sensitized on self-monitoring of their health.

iv. Faculty, Staff and students should submit self-disclosure, if any of their family members have been infected/availed treatment for COVID-19.

11. MEASURES FOR CONTAINMENT

i. As soon as a student, faculty or staff is detected COVID-19 positive, such person should be immediately isolated as per the directive/advisory of the Government. Room-mates and close contacts should be quarantined and symptomatic ones to be immediately tested.

ii. Universities and colleges should have a ready plan to provide healthcare support to those resident students and staff who test positive and are isolated.

iii. The guidelines restricting social and Social contacts and mobility in such parts of residential places in the campus, where positive cases have been found, should be strictly enforced. Measures like holding no class, not leaving the rooms for hostellers, if applicable, no take away arrangement of food from mess etc. may be enforced, depending upon the severity of the situation.

12. SENSITIZATION OF STUDENTS, TEACHERS AND STAFF

i. Awareness programmes regarding COVID-19 as to how the infection spreads, common symptoms, and precautions and measures required to contain its spread may be launched.

ii. Maintaining hygiene, e.g., how to wash hands, how to cough or sneeze into a tissue or elbow, avoid touching of face, eyes, mouth and nose should be regularly told to the students and the staff.

iii. The necessity of Social distancing, wearing face covers/ masks, hygiene etc. should be brought home to all.

iv. Activities to stay fit, physically and mentally, should be encouraged like doing exercises, yoga, breathing exercises, meditation, etc.

v. To improve resilience and mental health, students should be encouraged to share their feelings with friends, teachers and parents, remain positive, grateful, helpful, have focused approach, take a break from work, eat healthy and sleep timely etc.

vi. Eating healthy food and fruits, avoiding junk food, frequently drinking warm water, adopting ways to increase immunity etc. should be encouraged.

vii. Students should be told to regularly sanitize their laptops, audio, video and other media accessories.

viii. Factual information regarding COVID-19 and consequences of infection, without making them stressed or fearful, should be disseminated.

ix. Posters and stickers should be pasted at appropriate places in the campus to create awareness about the risk of infection from Corona virus.

x. Sharing of books, other learning material and eatables be discouraged.

13. ROLE OF DIFFERENT STAKEHOLDERS:

13.1 ROLE OF HEAD OF THE INSTITUTION

  • The Head of the Institution shall adequately train, instruct and orient the teachers, non-teaching staffs upon COVID 19 protocol.
  • Each shall be assigned specific role. Responsibility shall be fixed individually with strict instruction to comply. Any negligence or violation of protocol by anyone shall be dealt with strictly.
  • The guidelines and instructions as issued shall be followed by the Head of the Institution along with his/her team.
  • Head of the Institution shall continuously be on move to monitor the activities of the Institution. He/she shall personally monitor the sanitisation process, the classroom arrangement. He/she must closely supervise the role of his team members.
  • Head of the Institution, being the captain of the steering team, should exhibit exemplary leadership while observing the COVID protocols.
  • Keep watch on daily attendance of students and take necessary follow up accordingly. If anybody reported absent for COVID then he/she must take action as per COVID protocol.
  • Head of the institution will provide sufficient amount of sanitizer, sanitizer-sprayer, soap, disinfectant to each department.
  • He/she shall personally interact with the students in every semester and welcome the students, encourage them, ask them not to panic and learn COVID protocol attentively.
  • HOI shall be the role model in this fight against COVID in the institution. His/her personal intervention, innovation, enthusiasm and leadership can bring a huge positive energy amongst all after the Institutions reopen after prolonged lockdown.

13.2 ROLE OF TEACHERS

  • In all the above guidelines the teachers shall play a pivotal role. Their presence shall be required everywhere for guidance and supervision.
  • Individual roles shall be specified by the Head of the Institution among the teachers. Every teacher is expected to be a role model to their students in maintaining the protocol.
  • Teachers shall follow the Head of the Institutions direction in letter and spirit.
  • Any sickness in any student on being noticed shall forthwith be informed to the Head of the Institution.
  • In academic matters the academic guideline shall be followed by all teachers.
  • Teacher in the classroom shall keep watch on whether any student not wearing the mask properly. In such an event (s) he shall instantly advise the student to wear the mask properly and stop mishandling it. Teaches should strictly maintain NO MASK NO CLASS policy.

13.3 ROLE OF STUDENTS

  • Wear mask. Use of gloves and cap is optional.
  • Avoid wearing metal accessories like rings, chains, bangles and amulets.
  • To wash your hand frequently with soap and water, or may use sanitizer, it available.
  • Maintain social distance everywhere.
  • Do not come to institution if you are having fever, cold or any other ailment.
  • Do not touch your face with hand anytime unless it is washed clean.
  • Do not form close clusters with friends.
  • Do not share exercise books, copies, bags, or any other belonging of your friend.
  • Do not share food or drinking water with your friend or anyone.
  • Do sit at your assigned place.
  • Learn about COVID protocol attentively and follow the same in day to day life.
  • Do not panic.
  • Spread awareness amongst your relatives at home.
  • Play innovative games maintaining Social distance.
  • Learn how to fold arm over your mouth and nose before sneezing and coughing.
  • Do not spit here and there.
  • Flush the toilets adequately and wash your hand with soap once done.
  • Maintain social distance in class room, laboratory, library, corridors and everywhere you go.
  • Paint innovative posters; write poems, essays, slogans on awareness against COVID.
  • After reaching home wash uniform with detergent if you have another set. If that is not possible keep the uniform isolated for twelve hours and put it under direct sunlight next day.
  • Wash your mask, gloves and cap in hot water and surely with soap and detergent.
  • Verbal assistance or gesture to peers who are not able to maintain social distancing and mask
  • Avoid junk food and eating out. Eat healthy food prepared at home. Drink hot water/milk/soup at home.
  • Last but not the least; remember you are the true fighter against this formidable threat called COVID 19. We must win the battle by all will power and continuous perseverance. We must not allow COVID 19 to compromise our daily academic progress and achieving excellence.

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