Students should utilise lockdown time by enrolling in online course: Mandarwal
The Registrar of Doon University, Dehradun, Mangal Singh Mandarwal opines that the students can make best use of the prevailing lockdown period enforced by the government to flatten the contagion curve of novel Coronavirus by enrolling themselves in various online certificate and diploma courses. Talking to The Pioneer on Friday, he said that these courses available on various platforms are of duration ranging from one week to few months would help the students in enhancing their skill set and increase their confidence.
“Apart from students, the teachers can also make use of online orientation and refresher courses to keep them updated. The lockdown is a forced thing but it does not prevent us from increasing our knowledge and skills,’’ he quipped. Mandarwal informed that the University Grants Commission (UGC) in its guidelines had informed about many portals, web links, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC), Study Webs for Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds (SWAYAM) platform and National Digital Library on which the students can continue their academic activities and quest for learning. He added that apart from providing all these options to the students, the university has started online classes in all the subjects. “Though I personally believe that the virtual classroom cannot replace a real classroom but under the prevailing circumstances they are the best option available to ensure continuance of the studies. At times it is difficult for a teacher to check involvement of a student in online classes. We have asked the teachers to preserve the record of the online classes with them,’’ he said.
The registrar said that the Ministry of the Human Resource Development (MHRD) has issued broad guidelines regarding academic calendar and semester examinations but it also has given the universities considerable freedom. “Doon University conducts an entrance examination for its various graduate and post graduate courses and for them the preparation normally starts from month of March itself. Under the prevailing circumstances we would not be able to adopt the process of entrance examination to select students this year so we are planning to make new admissions on the basis of a merit list. This list would be prepared on the basis of marks obtained in the qualifying examination which is class XII for under graduate courses and marks of graduation for Post Graduate courses,’’ he said. On the schedule of semester examination of the university, Mandarwal said that the university would soon issue a directive to all teachers to complete their courses by May 31 and after that we would declare summer vacations from June 1 to 30. He said that the university is planning to conduct the examination in the month of July. Mandarwal added that the mode of examination and schedule would be decided later after analysing the situation.
On the mental stress which the long lockdown is supposed to ignite in the students, Mandarwal informed that on the directives of the UGC, the university has set up a committee to ‘facilitate and monitor mental health and well being of students during and after lockdown from COVID-19. He said that the committee would look into mental health aspect by talking to the students and provide necessary counselling to them. The committee has a psychology professor, a physician and wardens of boys and girls hostels. The registrar said that the each one of the University staff including the contractual employees have donated one day of their salary to the CM’s relief fund for COVID-19. He said that the university staff is preparing 150 packets of cooked nutritious food daily and providing it to the poor from start of lockdown period. This philanthropic work is being done under the watchful eyes of Dean, student welfare and head of department (HoD) of School of Management, H C Purohit, he concluded.
Saturday, 02 May 2020 | PNS | Dehradun
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