Higher education institutions in Kerala buzzed with activity after close to 300 days when they partially reopened on Monday under stringent restrictions in view of the COVID-19 spread.

The students joy of being able to return to their campuses was visible as it eclipsed concerns over the pandemic that had given way to the possibility of a zero academic year. While offline classes commenced for final-year undergraduate and all postgraduate students, a decision on the remaining batches is likely to be taken only after two weeks.

Amidst teething issues concerning the resumption of classes, including transportation woes and dearth of accommodation, colleges across the State reported average attendance with many less-accessible institutions in city suburbs and rural areas witnessing a low student turnout.

In Thiruvananthapuram, the City Corporation undertook a fogging drive in campuses in the city, while the premises were sanitised by the college authorities themselves.

Students were subjected to thermal screening and permitted entry after jotting down their contact details on register books maintained at the entrance in accordance with the COVID-19 protocol. In order to maintain a 50% attendance, college authorities rearranged seating arrangements to ensure only two students sat on a bench.

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