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Unis to be opened soon in stages

  • First stage for students sitting for exams; VCs to decide

BY Buddhika Samaraweera 

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has stated that it is planning to reopen universities that were closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic situation, at any given date, under a few stages. 

Speaking to the media, UGC Chairman Senior Prof. Sampath Amaratunge said that under the first stage, universities are planned to be reopened for students who are scheduled to sit for the examinations including practical examinations. 

He also said that students who received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccines would be able to return to the universities about two weeks after taking the second dose. 

“Only students who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 will be called to the universities and they will be required to provide vaccination cards,” he said. 

Speaking further, Prof. Amaratunge said that the relevant vice chancellors (VCs) of the universities would decide as to which students of the aforesaid groups should be called back to the universities in the first stage. 

The programme to administer the Covid-19 vaccines for university students between the ages of 20 to 30 years at their nearest university premises, commenced on 11 October. Accordingly, university students have the opportunity to go to the university nearest to where they are staying and obtain the vaccines. 

Meanwhile, Health Ministry Communications Director, Public Health Services Deputy Director General (DDG) and Disaster Preparedness and Response Division Head Dr. Hemantha Herath recently said that whether the relevant parties have been vaccinated against Covid-19 or not, the reopening of universities should be done in accordance with the basic Covid-19 health guidelines. 

“Regardless of the type of Covid-19 vaccine that someone has received, considering the prevailing situation, all must adhere to the basic health guidelines. The same applies to the universities and the relevant institutions should therefore formulate a programme to ensure that such guidelines are properly followed once the universities are reopened,” he added.