School, College Campuses in Odisha begin Sanitisation Drive

As Odisha returns to the cusp of normalcy after a hard-hitting lockdown flattened all economic and educational activities, the state’s higher secondary schools, colleges and universities are carrying out sanitisation drives at their campuses. This is being done despite no official communication from the concerned State Ministry. Most colleges and higher educational institutes are expecting to re-open physical classes for students in the upcoming months.

The institutes are focusing their efforts on sanitising the hostels, classrooms and other office premises before students and faculty members start pouring in from all across the state and beyond. Even IIT Bhubaneswar, a premier institute, has decided to quarantine students for a specified period before permitting them to attend offline classes. “We had sanitised our campus after one person was suspected of having caught Covid. As of now, the campus has zero cases. We will allow 50% of the final-year students on the campus, according to the instruction of the Union ministry of education. If a student is interested in coming here, he/she will be quarantined on the campus. After that, they will be allowed to attend physical classes. We will take a decision on starting offline classes very soon”, its director RV Rajakumar said.

Several institutes in the twin city of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack, which house students from all around the country, had closed down prematurely in mid-March as soon as a statewide lockdown was imposed. In fact, Odisha was among the first states to impose a complete shutdown of educational institutes as soon as a spurt in coronavirus cases was observed. As a result, a lot of students had to leave behind their belongings, including important documents, books and other essential items, in their respective hostels.

Utkal University, a state-run institution at the heart of Bhubaneswar, is also reportedly planning to resume classes in a limited capacity as and when the directives are issued by the state.

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