Governor of Bihar directive to streamline online education, says university and colleges to open only after govt decision

Governor-cum-Chancellor of universities Phagu Chouhan on Thursday directed the universities to streamline online education for a longer period, as the universities and colleges of Bihar would open only after receipt of the decision of the Central government and the Bihar government in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.

Chouhan’s directive, sent to all the VCs of the state through additional secretary, Raj Bhawan, Ram Anugrah Narayan Singh, clearly states that the universities and colleges need to plan their academic activities in such a way that the “online education is continued as supplementary and complementary to offline education even when the educational institutions open after the lockdown”.

The hint is clear that the institutions of higher learning should be prepared for a long haul. Last month, he had directed VCs to coordinate with the concerned district administrations for thorough sanitization of campuses before starting classes or conducting examinations, but now that seems unlikely.

He has asked the universities to organize interactive online classes and information about it should mandatory be displayed in advance on the official websites of universities/ colleges along with the links through which the students would be able to access it. At present, the universities and colleges claim to be running online classes and uploading e-content, but how many students are actually able to access it is not always known.

“The students may also be conveyed information about the classes separately through email groups, groups on social media etc. It has been noticed that hitherto the mechanism of interactive online classes has not been used sufficiently by the institutions. Subject-wise and topic-wise video lectures should be uploaded either on the respective websites or other channels such as youtube, Facebooks etc, with links available on websites” Couhan has said.

Apparently not happy with the way online education has gone on and its growing need in the days to come, he has further asked the universities and college to upload subject-wise and topic-wise study material on the websites or on cloud services, with links available on the websites for the convenience of the students.

“The VCs should get the content evaluated by an expert committee and get them graded so that quality could be maintained,” he added. Earlier, he had suggested that a study team be made for learning good practices for online education from better equipped universities in other states.

The chancellor has asked the VCs to send the best quality e-content to the Raj Bhawan and also share it with other other universities so that they may be used for imparting online education. “If some e-content is found to be sub-standard, steps may be taken to get them revised or upgraded,” he said, seeking regular weekly reports on progress of online education every Wednesday.

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