Guwahati: COVID-19 safety protocols in Guwahati College in Assam went for a toss as students in large numbers assembled on the college premises to submit their examination forms on Tuesday.
Around 400 students assembled in the college without maintaining any social distancing or preventive measures as the forms had to be submitted physically by students of all the three streams — arts, science and commerce — and that too on a single day.
The management of the college allegedly announced that examination forms for students of 2nd, 4th and 6th semesters of all the three streams together were to be submitted physically at the college by August 10. Later, it was shifted to August 11 creating a lot of confusion among a large section of students.
On August 9, a notification was released that students of intermediate semesters of all the three streams were to submit their forms on August 11. As such, Tuesday saw a massive gathering of students on the college premises. The queue from the office went beyond the college boundary and the COVID-19 safety protocols were grossly violated. Many students even came without wearing masks, allege some of the students.
The concerns against such a gathering were allegedly raised to the principal of the college but it fell on deaf ears. “It didn’t look like we gathered there during a pandemic,” said a student who was present in the college on Tuesday.
“It was worrying to see that no one from the college authorities seemed to be bothered about it,” he alleged.
However, the college officials at the counter were seen to maintain their own safety and ensure sanitization only for themselves as students were left off on their own.
As it started raining by afternoon on Tuesday, the social distance among the students started shrinking further as all huddled under a shed.
“The situation under the shed was such that there was no way to maintain any distance and other safety norms,” said another student caught up in such a chaotic environment.
Expressing serious concern over the decision of the college authorities to fix only one date, Tuesday, for submission of forms for students of all three streams, a section of students on condition of anonymity said, “Why was only one date fixed? When we raised the issue, the principal told a section of students that it’s an order from Gauhati University; college authorities can’t do anything in this regard. However, we believe that our principal is solely responsible for such gross violation of COVID-19 safety rules posing a serious threat to the students. Why can’t they adopt online process to accept the forms?”
Meanwhiile, numerous attempts to contact the principal of the college turned futile as his phone was “switched off”.
EastMojo also tried to talk with the president of the college union body, but he was not responding to the calls for reasons best known to him.
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