ISLAMABAD-Vice chancellors of all universities across the country on Wednesday reiterated their commitment to ensure adherence to the SOPs and government guidelines in view of the situation evolving out of the COVID-19 resurgence in the country. 

A statement issued by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) said that the 34th Vice Chancellors Committee meeting was held online here and was attended by a large number of vice chancellors and rectors. 

The university heads reviewed the situation on campuses with regard to the COVID-19, especially in the perspective of the feared second wave of the pandemic. They said that the universities have taken a number of steps to cope with the situation including strict enforcement of SOPs on campuses, reducing the numbers of students in classrooms and hostels, and shift to hybrid modes of instruction. 

“In fact, while the adherence to SOPs has dropped significantly in most other public places, universities have tried hard to maintain their level of vigilance and provide good examples for others,” said the vice chancellors. 

They expressed their total commitment to adhering to the guidelines issued by the NCOC and the health authorities. Majority of the vice chancellors said that they can switch to online or hybrid instructions and limiting those who are allowed to enter the campus, in case the re-emergence of the virus requires curtailment of public interaction. 

The meeting also discussed other options for action including enhancing counselling services for students as well as the general public, sharing of information and technical resources, and mutual learning from best practices. They also demanded that PTA (Pakistan Telecommunication Authority) arrange better data packages for students and faculty members in order to facilitate online interaction and instruction. 

During the meeting, Chairman HEC Tariq Banuri briefed the university heads on the decisions made in the last NCOC meeting. He emphasised, “We need to do the best we can to deter any disruption in the education system being caused by the situation evolving due to the COVID-19 recurrence.” He stressed that the universities need to prepare and look ahead as to how they can deal better with any evolving situation.