Saturday 19 September, 2020

UTech to resume classes Aug 24 guided by COVID-19 protocols

Classes are set to resume at the Papine, St Andrew-based University of Technology (UTech) on August 24 with new and returning international students subjected to a 14-day period of quarantine in keeping with Government of Jamaica COVID-19 protocols.

At the same time, no more than 20 people will be allowed to meet at any one place on campus, and the wearing of masks is mandatory prior to entry and for the duration of time on campus. Additionally, temperature checks will be conducted on each person at the gate before entry is allowed to the university.

The announcements were made by acting UTech President, Professor Colin Gyles in a statement on Wednesday and are part of the measures that will serve as a guide for life on the campus in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gyles said special provisions will be made during the first week of the upcoming school year to enable full integration of students in the use of the online teaching and learning platforms.

Semester 1 will run from August 24 to December 11, and all assessments are expected to be completed by December 11, Gyles said.

“Guidelines and protocols to follow, in keeping with the current and emerging health and safety guidelines outlined by the Government of Jamaica, are available for lecturers and students as the university seeks to maintain measures to stem the spread of the COVID-19 virus,” the statement added.

UTech will be restricting dormitory accommodations to one person per room and physical distancing will be observed in keeping with protocols developed by the Ministry of Health and Wellness.

Accommodations for international students, those from rural Jamaica and students with peculiar difficulties in accessing the Internet will be prioritised. Gyles said the cost of accommodation will remain as was previously communicated for 2020/2021.

Meanwhile, students whose courses of study require face-to-face interaction, the use of laboratories and clinical activities will be allowed short-term accommodation on designated halls of residence.

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