Principal Advisory 3

Dear EMCVPA Family:

Here’s hoping that you and your families continue to be well.

As the COVID-19 situation unfolds, it continues to present unprecedented challenges for institutions and communities of practice. The College nonetheless remains committed to safeguarding the interests of its constituents during these uncertain times and has been working assiduously in the background to find solutions for our peculiar realities. The truth is that whilst much emphasis globally is on remote teaching online this does not translate readily for all of our programmes and so we have met and continue to meet at both the macro and micro levels to identify the most feasible and meaningful solutions for all involved. Given the newness of this situation and the fact that it is continuously evolving, it is expected that our plans/processes will be re-evaluated as the situation progresses and where the need arises. Where changes are implemented however, you will be apprised via this medium.

In an effort to strike a balance between “flattening the curve” and attending to the essential aspects of the College’s operations, the following have been implemented:

–          A skeleton staff has been rostered on a rotating basis with reduced schedules to maintain essential aspects of our operations and to support the current Online thrust. Such schedules should have been shared within the respective departments by the Directors, who are able to address questions/concerns regarding same.

–          Faculty with the capacity to operate remotely are expected to do so at times consistent with their regular timetables. They are also required to log their activities, supplemented by students’ verification of same to assure accountability and ensure that our students’ needs are being met.

As the situation evolves, it brings to the fore issues of technological inequities and at present the Deans have been tasked with mobilising their teams to survey the technological capacities/competencies/needs of their students and faculty, and plans are being finalized to equip faculty for remote instruction, where necessary, through our Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Department. Concern for our students without Internet access factors into the equation as well and we are actively exploring ways to facilitate offline engagements so that these students are not disadvantaged.

The College through our ICT department is also working on increasing our Zoom license to migrate the remainder of our word-based courses online, pending the prolonged interruption of face-to-face classes. For the courses that are not so easily transportable to an online mode such as the studio-based ones, finding a workaround is more challenging and so the solution currently on the table includes but is not limited to the extension of the semester to facilitate completion. Other considerations are currently being fine-tuned; these will be shared at a later date.

Tomorrow we are expected to receive an update from the Prime Minister on whether school closures will continue. Following this advisory, we will report further on the way forward for the College.

Until then, do continue to take the necessary precautions to preserve yourselves and your families.