LAHORE (Web Desk) – Punjab University College of Information Technology (PUCIT) has cancelled in-person classes and switched to online classes due to novel coronavirus fears.
The decision was taken after abruptly increasing of the coronavirus cases across the country including Punjab.
In a dramatic move, after surfacing more than 450 cases of virus across the country, authorities at PUCIT are taking extreme steps to make sure students are not exposed to the virus on campus.
However, the PUCIT has cancelled in-person classes and switched to teaching their classes online, as the battle against the novel coronavirus in the country intensifies.
It is pertinent to mention here that the students’ classes will be resumed on campus at the conclusion of spring break in April. The rising number of cases in the country prompted government last week to declare a state of emergency.
On the recommendation of University of the Punjab Vice Chancellor (VC) Prof Dr Niaz Ahmad, a video meeting of PUCIT faculty and selective administrative staff was called on Wednesday. Meanwhile, almost 90 per cent of the faculty joined the meeting online via Google Hangouts Meet from their homes.
The agenda of the meeting was to discuss available options to bring PUCIT academic activities online after the spread of pandemic COVID-19.
PUCIT faculty strongly endorsed that the students time should not get wasted and agreed to conduct online classes from their homes using Google Hangouts Meet, Google Classrooms and other distant / paper free online teaching tools. This will address the issue of academic loss of students and at the same time maximize social distancing to reduce the transmission of COVID-19.
The PUCIT in-charge said that in the best interest of Punjab University students, faculty and staff, in order to maximize social distancing and reduce the transmission of COVID-19, PU administration has decided that
- Students are not allowed to come to campus till further orders.
- Minimal staff will be called on campus to meet the essential services.
- As far as the faculty is concerned, they will not be called on campus, however, the faculty is required to
- Remotely engage students in academic activities by giving them recorded lectures, projects, assignments, and even live video sessions where possible.
Dr Arif said that the PU vice chancellor has announced that all classes in PUCIT, IBIT, Electrical Engineering and some other departments are moving online beginning from Monday March 23 and continuing through at least Friday (April 3).
“I being Incharge PUCIT strongly encourage all college meetings to be moved online using Google Hangouts Meet, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, or Skype. For this the faculty is requested to remain available online during office hours from their homes,” he added.
The PUCIT in-charge also announced that all activities at PUCIT, like classes, exams, upcoming job fair, exhibitions, student trips, MPhil/PhD viva-voce exams, and so on are hereby cancelled, postponed or moved online with effect from today till Saturday (April 4).
It was also decided that the concerned authorities should be approached for special student discount packages of 4G/3G broadband internet to make these online sessions cheap for students and faculty
Dr Arif opened the meeting for discussions and suggestions. After getting input from the faculty following decisions were made in this regard:
- The online lecture duration should be of one hour, however, to give a gap between two sessions the time table will be same, i.e., 90 minutes’ class.
- Since Google Hangouts Meet offers a class size of over 200, therefore the faculty may take one combined session for both morning and afternoon students, where possible.
PUCIT Principal Maj (rtd) Dr Muhammad Arif Butt said, “My sincere appreciation goes to each of you for the resolve you’ve shown in the face of such uncertainty. We recognize that this is a significant adjustment for faculty and students, and we are committed to providing the necessary support to help facilitate this effort to all departments of the Punjab University.