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Colleges reopen in Tamil Nadu, confusion about online attendance




When colleges reopened on January 4 after holidays the attendance lacked and most students opted for online classes. Principals from Tamilnadu colleges stated. Lack of clear guidelines only confused the colleges.

P. Wilson, Principal of Madras Christian College said of the 2,000 students only 400 returned to college. “Every day we are conducting RT-PCR tests. If a student is sick, we isolate the entire class and ask them to go for online classes. We are managing with a hybrid system of online and offline classes,” he said.

In Stella Maris College, a circular confused students and parents. It said students expected to come to college to attend classes. Attendance only given to students who attend classes in college. Similarly all assessment tests conducted in college only, it read. However, “those who test COVID positive/quarantined in the containment zone must produce request letter along with the evidence/certificate for the same to the class teacher specifying the period to claim attendance for that period” the circular stated.

In a social media platform the students requested to attend classes offline “If the particular student faces any difficulty in attending class offline, requested to send a mail to the principal regarding the same,” the message read. However the students also advised to check their daily attendance in the portal.

Principal Rosy Joseph said no student forced to come to college.“We asked the students of final year students to come on campus. We are not forcing anyone. The hostels are also open. The government asked us to open hostels also. We are following the government rules. Everyday we must provide attendance details by 11 a.m. to the government. The government not informed whether students who lack attendance allowed to take the exams. Therefore we provided study material for students unable to attend college. We do not have online classes for final year students. Online classes are for only first and second year students,” she explained.

Similarly sources in the Higher education department clarified that it specified that students could not be forced to come to college.

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