HEC issues timeline and guidelines for reopening of Universities

HEC issues timeline and guidelines for reopening of Universities

HEC issues timeline and guidelines for reopening of Universities

In an online meeting between the HEC chairman and the VC’s of the Universities, the government has decided that all educational institutions will be reopened in a planned and gradual manner. The purpose of that meeting was to collect the views of the Vice Chancellors so that the Education Ministry and NCC can be informed accordingly.

Few questions were raised by the VCs in the meeting which are given below;

  1. When should universities be reopened? 15 July? Later? Earlier?
  2. Should all universities be reopened at the same time?
  3. Should all students return at the same time, or only a subset? Which subset?
  4. What information should the university provide to returnees?
  5. What protective arrangements/ SOPs are needed? Do we have them?
  6. If only a subset of students returns, what should be the teaching system?

Should all universities reopen together?

  • To repeat, the VC and the Syndicate should make their own decisions. The following factors are relevant to this decision.
  • Epidemic behavior: the university cannot quarantine itself completely. A flare up in the surrounding area may spread to the university community through vendors, transport systems, local staff, and normal interactions.
  • Space constraints: how many students can be accommodated
  • Availability of required medical services, both on and off campus
  • Availability of essential supplies, including testing kits, PPEs, sanitization systems, thermal surveillance cameras
  • Clear policy and assignment of responsibility

Schedule and timeline for Faculty and Students provided by HEC 

HEC has announced a multi-phase reopening of the universities. Also, faculty members and students who face connectivity issues will be called upon campus in the first phase. In the second phase, the call will be made to final year students and graduate students and students with house jobs or other practical requirements. All students will be allowed at the campus in the last phase.

  • 15 July 2020: Faculty members, main staff and Students with Connectivity issues settle on campus.
  • 3 August 2020: Students of the final year, graduates and Students with house jobs or other practical requirements arrive back on campus
  • 17 August 2020: Students with lab requirements (e.g., science, medicine, engineering) All other students may be allowed on campus
  • 14 September 2020: Orientation session for new students
  • 15 September 2020: All new and old students allowed back on campus

Checklist of safety SOPs provided by HEC

  • Wear a mask in public places, maintain good hygiene practices
  • Observe social distancing and prescribed protocols for public places
  • Regularly review updates on virus and safety policies
  • Use biometric identifiers or swipe cards when required
  • Maintain a daily contact diary
  • In case of symptoms, follow prescribed procedures phone

However, most of the VC's opposed the idea of reopening varsities on 15th of July.

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