Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: The Higher Education Department is hopeful that colleges across Odisha would reopen in January 2021.

However, a final decision in this regard will be taken by the Odisha government after reviewing all aspects including the COVID-19 pandemic situation in the State, said Secretary, Higher Education Department Saswat Mishra on Thursday.

While talking to reporters Mishra said that earlier the Higher Education Department on December 7 had written to Universities and Colleges not to conduct examinations till the physical mode of teaching is resumed in their respective educational institutions.

“Examinations cannot be conducted only on the basis of online teaching as there is likelihood that many students may not have understood the subjects properly. Hence, it may also result in a rise in the fail percentage,” said Mishra.

Also Read: Big Breaking: Schools Across Odisha Likely To Reopen In January; Classes To Continue On Saturdays/Sundays, Says Minister

Mishra further said that the department has now issued a fresh clarification that in educational institutions where physical mode of teaching has been completed, they can go ahead with conducting examinations.

The Odisha State Open University can also conduct exams as there is no concept of physical teaching here. Only students come to the study centres for clearing their doubts once a week.

“However, for UG, PG students whose academic session began from July- August (this year) will continue with online classes, but no examinations will be held soon. The final semester exams will be conducted after the commencement of physical mode of teaching in colleges and universities. We are not in favour of conducting examinations based on online teaching only,” said Mishra.

On reopening of colleges and universities, Mishra said, “All depends on Odisha government’s decision. We are hopeful that classes will resume in colleges soon. Examinations will be held only after classes resumed to normalcy.”

Mishra further anticipated that the academic calendar will be shifted by two-three months in the entire country. "We are confident that the full syllabus in colleges can be completed in the next two- three months. If there is any further delay in reopening colleges, it may affect the completion of syllabus," he added.