SNCW’S RESPONSE TO COVID-19
COVID-19 has emerged as a major humanitarian crisis that has affected almost everything. In response to this global pandemic our institution has risen to the need of the hour by strictly implementing and monitoring preventive measures and precautions to prevent its spread within and outside the institution. This is being done through a number of initiatives taken by the students and faculty through production and distribution of hand sanitisers and face masks, to conducting online classes and webinars, all of which play not only an important role in the smooth and effective functioning of the college but also in alleviating the stress and fear generated by the pandemic among the students, faculty and non-teaching staff of our institution. Our college is running strictly adhering to the Covid-19 protocol as put forward by the state government. All the faculty members, student volunteers of NCC, NSS and College union members are all working hard towards imparting proper awareness among the students and their families' to obey the rules as it is the need of the hour to slow down the spreading of Covid-19. The faultless job from their part is highly appreciable because as an institution of higher learning, the safety of our students and the society at large are our major concerns.
- SANITISER MAKING
- During the outbreak of COVID-19, the department of chemistry in March 2020 had initiated the production of Hand Sanitizers on a small scale. Using the resources available in our chemistry laboratory, the faculty members started producing high quality hand sanitizers using the ingredients specified by WHO (70% ethanol, 75ml hydrogen peroxide, 26ml glycerine, aloevera gel and essential oil) and the same were distributed free of cost to students and staff of our college. Keeping in mind our commitment to society, hand sanitisers were also distributed free of cost at Kollam railway station, Valuation Camp of University of Kerala functioning in our college and to the inmates of poor home (Aghathi Mandiram) at Mundakkal, Kollam. These sanitizers were also provided to students during the University Examinations. Upon demand, the product was also sold to various government offices and private organizations at an affordable cost.
- The NSS Unit of our college were also actively engaged in the production and distribution of hand sanitisers. These were supplied to the students and staff of the college and were also distributed to major autorickshaw stands within the town limits. The NSS volunteers also supplied these sanitisers to The Quilon Co-operative Bank and also exhibited a poster on ‘Break the Chain’initiative of the Kerala Government for promoting awareness among the public to curb the spread of this pandemic.
- DISTRIBUTION OF FACE MASKS
- The NCC Unit of our college distributed over hundred face masks to the inmates of Poor Home, Mundakkal, Kollam. The inmates were also made aware of the best practices which should be followed about how to wear, remove, and dispose of these masks and for hand hygiene after removal.
The best mask management practices (based on WHO guidelines) put forward by the NCC Unit were:
- Proper placing of the mask carefully, ensuring it covers the mouth and nose, and tie it securely to minimize any gaps between the face and the mask.
- Avoid touching the mask while wearing it.
- Removal of the mask using the appropriate technique: do not touch the front of the mask but untie it from behind.
- After removal or whenever a used mask is inadvertently touched, clean hands using an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
- Replace masks as soon as they become damp with a new clean, dry mask.
- Do not re-use single-use masks.
- Discard single-use masks after each use and dispose of them immediately upon removal.
- EXAMS CONDUCTED
- Our college conducted the University Examinations (both UG and PG) strictly adhering to the Covid-19 protocol as put forward by the University of Kerala. Students appearing for the examinations were regularly sensitised of the precautionary measures.
The following measures were taken to ensure the effective implementation of the Covid-19 protocol.
- Examination halls were cleansed thoroughly before and after each exam.
- Students were instructed to stand in line while entering the campus with sufficient distance between themselves.
- Student gatherings were strictly prohibited within the campus. At all times they were to maintain social distancing.
- Digital thermometers were used to check temperatures of all the students and staff entering the campus.
- Seating arrangements in the examination halls ensured adequate social distancing among the candidates.
- Hand sanitisers were provided in each exam hall for students and invigilators.
- Teachers assigned invigilation duty were provided with masks, gloves and sanitisers.
- Students appearing for exams from containment zones were assigned separate rooms.
- Students were also advised to sanitise their hands before exiting the campus.
- ALTERNATIVE WORK ARRANGEMENT
- In order to reduce the risk of exposure from Covid-19 in the college a covid protocol management committee was formed and they tackled the situation by using a systematic approach that emphasises on the joint collaboration of the staffs of the college and the management. Almost all the activities in the college comply with the social distancing norms. These include
- Alternate work arrangements for teaching and non-teaching staff
- Job Sharing
- Work from home facility for teachers
- E -learning
- Weekly class monitoring and online class report
- Online class PTA meetings
- Online class tests, student seminars and assignments
- ONLINE CLASSES/WEBINARS
- Following the closure of colleges during the lockdown phase necessitated by the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic, it put the student and teacher community in an entirely new unfamiliar turf. But slowly we tackled the situation by implementing new methods in the teaching learning process. Teachers were instructed to commence classes online by the Government. All our Teaching faculty registered for and attended online orientation classes and FDP programmes on effective use of online teaching resources conducted by reputed institutions in India and abroad. We took steps towards this transition from offline teaching mode to online teaching mode at the right time to keep the ball rolling. The dynamics of offline class are diametrically different from online class. The access to technology and faculty determination is contributing to the success of this online teaching. Live online and recorded classes (for the benefit of students with connectivity issues) are now being conducted. All the departments engage classes based on a scheduled timetable using platforms online teaching platforms like Zoom, Google Meet, Whats App, YouTube, Google classroom, Telegram,etc. Students were also encouraged by their respective tutors to join for online courses in Swayam, Coursera, Udemy,etc. The best practice initiative of our college 'Karuna', PTA, FSA and our College Union distributed smart phones for the most deserving students.
An International Webinar Series titled Crossroads 2020 was conducted by our college from 22nd to 30th July. This event was conducted as an endeavour to provide an opportunity for the academic and student community in various disciplines to explore, share experiences, debate issues and to exchange perspectives with the new areas of research and learning. This webinar series gave an excellent platform for every department to bring in eminent resource persons of international repute in their respective disciplines. Topics ranged from "Online Teaching and Language Learning Resources"(Department of Malayalam), "Financial Market Trends: Paradigm shift in the post-pandemic scenario"( Department of Commerce), "Ethnoliterature and Environment : North East Indian and South East Asian Literatures", (Department of English) "Data Visualisation: How to Communicate Research Effectively" (Department of Economics), "Manodharma Sangeetham" (Department of Music), "Coping Pandemic Stress with Fitness" (Department of Physical Education), "Pandemic Impact on Education" (Department of History), "IndianModernity and Culture-A Gender Perspective" (Department of Hindi), "Solid Waste Management" (Department of Home Science), 'Finding Nano'- AdvancedElectron Microscopy in Nanomaterials Research and 'Space in a box-An understanding towards our existence' (Department of Physics) , "Applications of Graph Theory in Science and Technology" (Department of Mathematics), "Are Our Forests Real? Conservations vs Conversions." (Department of Geography). "Autoimmunity and Antimicrobial Response Factors" (Department of Biochemistry and Industrial Microbiology), "Innovative techniques in Aquaculture" (Department of Zoology), "Alternative therapy for oral diseases: Exploring newer possibilities" (Department of Botany), "Nanotechnology against Covid-19" (Department of Chemistry). There was an overwhelming response from the academic community, research scholars and students both at the regional and national level for each and every one of these webinar's.
- STRESS MANAGEMENT FOR STUDENTS
- A decision was made by the Principal and College Council to implement and encourage stress relieving activities for our students during these trying times. This decision was received with wholehearted support by all the faculty members. All the respective class tutors were required to interact online with their students during weekends and to discuss any issues they had. Interactions with parents were also done when the situation demanded. Students were also encouraged to frequently talk with their friends online. Tutors ensured that there were constant interactive sessions among the students so as to do away with any anxiety, stress or depression they might be experiencing due to the pandemic. Those students requiring professional counselling were referred to the College Counselling Cell. Students were encouraged to take an active interest in their hobbies.
- As part of the College Onam Celebrations a Malayali Manka Competition was held online in which the First, Second and Third prize were won by Pooja Krishnan (Zoology Dept.), Parvathy J S (Economics Dept) and Abhirami Manoj (Physics Dept) respectively. During and after the lockdown, NSS Volunteers actively engaged themselves in stress relief activities like growing microgreens, photography, poetry writing, art of coffee painting, bottle art, painting, craft art, participated in 'spitting kills campaign' and attended a training programme on 'Basics of Covid'. The PG Department of Home Science conducted an online session on 'Cloth Bag and Pouch Making' for students as part of an online workshop series "Creative Crescents". The final year UG Home Science students' need appreciation and applause for utilising the lockdown period to indulge in their creative talents like crafts, embroidery work, cake baking, wall art, bottle art, photography and pencil drawing.
- With the University announcing the commencement of First Degree Programme admissions from 21/09/2020 onwards, our college took all measures for the implementation and supervision of covid-19 protocol to prevent the spread of the deadly pandemic. A Covid Protocol Management Committee consisting of five faculty members was constituted by the Principal to oversee the effective implementation and management of covid-19 protocol during admission days. The Committee members did a commendable job in this regard. During admission days social distancing was strictly implement using the token system and rope barricading. Each student was to be accompanied by a single parent/guardian. At the entrance their hands were sanitised, temperature checked and provided with disposable gloves which were required to be worn at all times within the campus. They were allowed to dispose off their gloves only at the exit gate. Periodic announcements reminding the students and their parents about the covid-19 protocol to be observed were played through the public address system. All the faculty and administrative staff members involved in the admission duty were provided with hand sanitisers, face masks and face shields.
- COVID DUTY
- Two of our office staff Mr Sudarsanan and Mr Valsalan actively and dedicatedly did the duty assigned to them by the Health Department, Govt. of Kerala, as observation officers for 45 days at S J Tourist Home a Firstline Covid Treatment Centre in Kollam.
- Smart phone distribution
- As education was shifting online due to the Covid-19 pandemic, our tutors identified that a few students did not have access to mobile phones or internet facility at home. Our college distributed smart phones to these students to facilitate e-learning.
- Covid after care for students
- In order to support students’ transition back to offline classroom learning after extended periods of closure, our college has organized counselling sessions to ensure the students' learning and emotional well-being. Open house meetings were conducted offline with parents to address their concerns and queries and also to make them aware of the classroom precautions.