The department of higher education in Odisha has announced that universities and colleges within the state shall resume online classes from June 01, 2021. Currently, colleges are not functioning due to summer vacation which is scheduled to end on May 31, 2021. However, while the new academic year 2021-22 shall begin soon, the commencement of physical classes is not on the cards at the moment. Moreover, hostels will also remain closed until further notice. The examination schedule for the upcoming academic year shall also be published in due course of time.
A letter was recently issued by the Principal Secretary of Higher Education, Saswat Misra, announcing the commencement of new academic year from June 01, 2021. According to the letter, a summer vacation which was declared in the university department, shall come to an end on May 31, 2021. At the end of the summer vacation, online lectures shall resume as per the previous guidelines.
Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, offline teaching shall not commence anytime soon. Even hostels shall not be allowed to function due to the same reason. Moreover, the higher education department confirmed that the examination schedule shall be communicated as soon as the board is informed of UGC’s decision.
Earlier, the state government of Odisha announced a summer vacation on May 04, 2021, for all higher education institutions within the state. The summer vacation was to begin from May 05, 2021 and is scheduled to come to an end on Monday, May 31, 2021. According to the order issued by the government, no online classes or exams were allowed to be held during the summer vacation period.
The official government order announcing summer vacation in the state was issued on May 04, 2021. All educational institutions falling under the ambit of government administration had to follow this order. The standard vacation arrangements were to be implemented by every institute during the vacation period. This period also included any COVID-19 related lockdown or shutdown imposed by the state authorities.
In other news, the Council of Higher Secondary Education (CHSE), Odisha, is likely to make a decision on the Class 12 board exams once the cyclonic conditions stabilise in the state. Previously, the Class 12 state board exams were scheduled to begin from May 18, 2021 but were postponed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to authorities, the state government is currently preoccupied in making preparations for the cyclone Yaas.
The Odisha education department is also looking at two alternatives given by the Union Government. The first alternative is to conduct the Class 12 board exams as per the usual format after the situation stabilises in the country. The second alternative is to organise a shorter version of those exams. To implement this, authorities may either reduce the duration of each exam or the number of exams i.e., to conduct exams for a few, core subjects.