The Telangana Education Ministry decided to allow colleges in the state to open their campuses for offline learning from 1 September 2021. This decision was taken at the time due to the declining rates of COVID-19 cases and the upcoming fall semester. Thus, state officials instructed universities and Anganwadi to get their campuses ready for students by 30 August. This included providing the infrastructure necessary for social distancing, as well as thorough sanitization of all locations and transportation. The state has released mandated safety guidelines for all attending students and faculty. These include the wearing of masks and vaccination of staff.
It has been more than 18 months since schools within the country closed due to pandemic lockdown protocols. The initial opening of colleges in Telangana will take place gradually in a phased manner. The first phase will consist of necessary in-person activities, such as labs, practical assessments, etc. Officials will monitor the situation and enforce the closing of campuses if there is a spike in cases.
Nevertheless, the Telangana high court promptly disallowed institutions in the state to mandate that students must attend physical lessons. This announcement was in response to a PIL (Public Interest Litigation) filed regarding the 1 September opening, protesting the expectation to participate in in-person lessons amid the risks entailed. Therefore, offline classes remain optional, and higher educational institutions have duly embraced a blended learning model. Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao publicly approved of the opening, stating that the education system had “suffered a lot because of COVID-19”.