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Universities further closed. University Opening Dates to decide Coming Dates. Special Meeting May 12

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University Opening Dates to decide in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka Schools and Universities Reopening Dates

(Update – May 10) Update – Sri Lanka Education Minister Prof G L Peiris says that there will be a meeting on May 12 to discuss about the re-opening of schools, pre-schools and universities. Minister further says government intends to maintain normal activities of the country despite COVID19 crisis. Minister Peiris says he will discuss with health authorities to decide on reopening schools, pre schools and universities. Special meetings will be held coming days to decide whether schools Sri Lanka open or close.  “We review the situation daily” minister further said. Officials are considering the situation and will announce the opening dates.

All universities will remain closed until further notice- Education Minister Prof. G.L Pieris. The decision was taken as a precaution to prevent university students from being infected with the virus.Officials are considering the situation and will announce the opening dates. University Grants Commission will be meeting with health officials coming weeks to discuss the possibility of reopening universities safely under COVID19 prevention guidelines. “The main problem is that thousands of students depend on hostels and all facilities in hostels are common ones shared by students,” the UGC Chairman says.

All schools will remain closed until further notice- Education Minister Prof. G.L Pieris.

All universities will remain closed until further notice- Education Minister Prof. G.L Pieris.

All tuition classes will remain closed until further notice- Education Minister Prof. G.L Pieris.

The University Grants Commission (UGC) will be meeting with health officials coming weeks to discuss the possibility of reopening universities safely under COVID19 prevention guidelines, says UGC Chairman Sampath Amaratunge . It has been a year now since State universities in the island were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The matter of reopening universities in the current environment presents many practical challenges, Prof. Amaratunge said.

When will Universities Re-Opening ?

“The main problem is that thousands of students depend on hostels and all facilities in hostels are common ones shared by students,” the UGC Chairman pointed out.

He said in universities such as Sri Jayewardenepura, there were some 7500 students who were staying at hostels belonging to the university. In some universities, almost the entire student population is dependent on hostels provided by the university, he said.

“You can imagine the risk of infection with 7000-10,000 students staying in hostels. We have to take precautions against that,” Prof. Amaratunge said.

The UGC had earlier planned to get university students vaccinated in April and then begin classes in batches. “However, due to the high global demand for vaccines, we can’t be certain now when we will get the vaccines for students,” Prof. Amaratunge said. Generally, the university student population is between the ages of 20-30.

“So if they do get COVID-19, they will likely recover quickly, but we have to also consider how we can ask staff, particularly older professors who have not been vaccinated, to come and teach them,” Prof. Amaratunge said.

While universities have been physically closed for classes, exams, staff recruitments and student convocations have still been happening, and classes are being conducted online for students, he said. The UGC Chairman said universities have covered syllabi for students for the past year through online classes. (Source – SundayTimes)

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