The growing chorus of closing colleges amid pandemic

Due to the pandemic, most educational institutes and medical colleges had been put on indefinite hold. Both from both their medical education and exams, due to concerns over COVID SOPs violation.

By Dr Yasir Israr

Packing an egregiously large number of students into a crowded space would work no wonders in contributing to its spread. The affected people can range from unsuspecting asymptomatic youth to fragile members of the community.

The fate of colleges during a pandemic

Thus, for the better part of a year, the colleges were closed. The medium moved to online platforms to impart medical education. Some colleges even took their exams in an online space during the pandemic, despite some technical difficulties and complaints from the students. It came as quite a blow to their expectations with the recent confirmation by Minister for Education. The committee chaired by Shafqat Mahmood announced re-opening of institutions with conclusive affirmation that examinations will be taken.

Opening colleges amidst second wave of covid

This has sparked outrage among the medical students’ community, where many call it inhumane to force students to aggregate together in a closed environment aggravating the risk of infections even in the presence of some measure of SOPs observation. A country where a large majority are not practising any safety measures to prevent the spread might be the icing on the cake to put a large number of them vulnerable to the virus in a group.

UK’s new coronavirus strain

Even if there are concerns that the academic careers of students are being put in jeopardy, it does seem a violation of common sense where they expect the community of a country which does not follow the proper conduct of preventing a pandemic, to be obligated to such conditions especially when they are under the duress of a challenging exam, to be safe from the morbidity of such a virulent disease especially with the new high virulence strain discovered in the UK also emerged in Pakistan.

The controversy of education

The issue is further controversial because most students are themselves divided on the subject, raising concerns over their exposure to COVID-19. In contrast, others are exasperated by the delay in their academic journey and want to get it over with.

The author is contributing writer at Dental News and can be reached at Follow Yasir on Instagram: @dr_yasiris

January 5, 2021

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