As students from the University of the West Indies, Mona prepare to start a new academic year on Monday, several are anxious about the online mode of teaching implemented by the school amidst concerns about the growing number of COVID-19 cases.
McKoy’s News spoke to a couple students who shared their readiness or lack thereof.
“I feel like I’m on holiday. Doesn’t feel like school at all. I have internet and a laptop, but mentally I am not prepared,” third year Electronics and Computer Science student, Javier Bryan told our news team.
Meanwhile, medical student is unsure about how she will cope with distant learning.
“Online classes weren’t great to begin with, but I kinda just put up with it cause I thought it was for a couple of weeks then it would be done. I’m dreading it now, because I feel like I can get out on spot more often, and classes don’t feel as important anymore. My internet is ‘trash’ too,” she told McKoy’s News.
Third year law student, Shennae Hanson said she is blatantly not prepared for online school.
In an advisory sent out by the University two weeks ago, the school’s administration also noted that on-campus accommodation would be reduced to single occupancy.
It said all students in residence will be required to adhere to campus protocols as it relates to living in a hall of residence as well as all COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
Students will be allowed to move in between August 30 to 31 for new students and September 1 to 6 for returning students, the university said.
The UWI said September 7 to 13 may be used for orientation to the online/remote teaching platform where necessary and class delivery should begin by September 14.
Visitors will not be allowed on halls and relocating to another hall might become necessary to facilitate quarantining and isolation if needed, the university noted.
It added that all students, staff and visitors, will be required to follow the health and safety protocols issued by the Government of Jamaica and The UWI Mona.
The UWI said the following are mandated:
Wearing of a face mask that adequately covers the nose and mouth in public spaces; Maintaining 2 metres (6ft) of distance from all students, employees and visitors; Adherence to the temperature monitoring, hand washing and disinfecting requirements for entry to buildings; Observing the maximum occupancy requirements for the various outdoor and indoor spaces on campus to include learning, office, leisure and living spaces; Adherence to personal hygiene protocols stipulated by the Ministry of Health (wash hands frequently, cough and sneeze in tissue and properly discard); and Staying home if you are ill and reporting any COVID-19 related symptoms to the Ministry of Health and Wellness: 888- ONE-LOVE (888-663-5683). Please also notify your dean/hall manager/SSDM.