HEC Announces the Coronavirus Guidelines for Educational Institutes

Following the Government’s Announcement to close educational institutes, the Higher Education Commission on Thursday issued additional guidelines to follow during the closure. The guidelines come on balance academic institutions — universities, colleges, schools, tuition centers, or similar entities — were ordered to be closed w.e.f. 26 November till 24 December.

The government underscored that educational institutes should still function and deliver education through online means. “Academic institutions are scheduled to open on January 11, 2021. However, a review meeting is held during this regard during the primary week of January 2021 to assess things, and authorize the opening of educational institutions,” the HEC added.

The HEC said that the university’s vice-chancellors could allow the subsequent students to go to the campus:

HEC COVID Guidelines
  • Low-income students facing connectivity issues
  • Foreign students
  • Ph.D, MPhil, or final year students who have to use the laboratories to finish their thesis work
  • Medical students of third or higher year who have to obtain clinical training
  • Teachers can visit universities for recording or delivering lectures

“The above flexibility is to be exercised most judiciously, and given that the campus presence of the said individuals is totally necessary,” the HEC reminded.

The HEC said that “in no case” shall the whole number of the scholars permitted to enter the campus should exceed 30% of the overall enrollment. “Universities will clearly announce their policy on which category is allowed on campus and at what time and with what scrutiny mechanisms or safeguards,” it said.

“HEC has released an amount of Rs10 million each to public sector universities to assist them to establish any supportive arrangements needed to boost the standard of the web education process,” the statement said. The HEC suggested that one option is to recruit senior, tech-savvy students to help faculty members with technology-related problems involved in online education.

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