All heads of educational institutions in Chandigarh have been advised to arrange for Covid-19 testing of staff and students occupying the hostels to ensure their safety.
Panjab University was advised to coordinate with the Director, Health Services, UT, through the Director Higher Education (DHE) for the same.
Various suggestions, including the testing of staff and hostellers, were floated during a recent meeting chaired by the UT Education Secretary and attended by the DHE, Additional Secretary-cum-Director Technical Education, principals of Government College of Arts, PGGCG-11, CCA and Government Home Science College, Registrar and Dean Student Welfare (DSW), Panjab University, and Deputy Director, Punjab Engineering College (PEC).
It was also recommended that students may be advised to vacate the hostels and stay with their families/parents during the Covid spike. “However, students who have cogent reasons to stay at hostels may be allowed to stay. The head of the institution will take appropriate decision with respect to each such student who is allowed to stay at hostels,” said one of the sources.
Other recommendations included maintain of record of all hostellers by respective institute.
The details of students (who are allowed to stay beyond May 30) should be supplied before May 4 to the DHE or Additional Secretary Technical Education. Meeting participants also suggested ensuring compliance with Covid norms, testing and other instructions issued from time to time.
718 hostellers at Panjab University
Sources said the Education Secretary insisted that youngsters were at an equal risk during the pandemic and there was need to strictly follow the prescribed containment strategy.
“The DSW, PU, confirmed that 718 students are presently occupying the hostels and out of these, 650 students are Research Scholars. The university has around 20 hostels with the total capacity of 8,000 students and presently, only 10 per cent capacity is being utilised. Deputy Director, PEC, said around 300 students are occupying the hostels. The DHE also apprised that nearly 300 students are occupying hostels in various colleges. However, he informed that many of these college students are in the process of shifting to their hometowns,” said a source.