Update – Jaffna University, Killinochchi campus temporarily closed following student’s brother working in Kandakadu RC tested positive for coronavirus. Student’s PCR test results pending. Chairman of the University Grants Commission (UGC) says though school are closed, universities will NOT be closed. Academic activities and exams will be held as usual. Though UGC chairman said, universities are functioning, several universities already postponed exams again. Last Sunday, government decided to close schools for a week following possible second wave of coronavirus in Sri Lanka.
Vice-Chancellors VCs of all Sri Lankan state universities have been given the authority to recommence academic activities for second and third-year students on a date of their choosing, Chairman of the University Grants Commission (UGC) Senior Prof. Sampath Amaratunga said. Universities to reopen for second and third years.
Accordingly, the universities may reopen for second and third-year students from July 06 onward under health guidelines issued by the government. However, the date of recommencement for first-year students has not been decided as of yet owing issues of hostels.
Fourth-year university students have already commenced academic activities and their examinations commenced on June 22 and to end on August.
State universities will recommence their academic activities subject to 11 conditions as below.
1- Only students of two academic years can be called to the university premises at a given time – ideally third and fourth year students.
2- At university hostels, one room must be reserved for one student. This is compulsory, and a one-metre distance must be maintained between students at exams, practical sessions, laboratories and libraries.
3- All academic activities and exams must end on time, prioritising the students of faculties whose exams are due.
4- All academic activities preceding exams must be completed in as short a time as possible. Under no circumstances must they exceed four weeks.
5- Clinical trials can begin for final year MBBS students. For this, the relevant medical faculties must seek the advice of directors of relevant teaching hospitals, microbiologists, specialist doctors, and PHIs.
6- Similarly, clinical trials can begin for dental and ayurvedic final year students.
7- Upon completion of academic activities and exams, students must return home, and must not for any reason linger in the university premises. No student is allowed on the premises after 7pm.
8- No permission is granted to convene for sports and other extracurricular activities. No social gatherings will be allowed in this period.
9- All VCs are advised to pay close attention to the facilities at their hostels, and upon a proper study of how many students can be accommodated at a time, may recommence academic and exam activities.
10- The health ministry circular pertaining to universities is still valid.
11- All VCs have the authority to determine how many academic and nonacademic staff may be present at a given time, depending on requirements.