Statement for Students on Public Platforms

Dear EMCVPA Student

It’s been a trying time for our community as we have been hard-pressed to respond to and cope with the dynamics of a “new normal” onset by the COVID-19 crisis. This has required us to step up in unprecedented ways to find innovative solutions to the situation at hand that simultaneously attend to the particularities of our institution. In all of this, there have been more questions than answers and we would like to thank you for your patience as we continue to figure things out.

We know that the apprehension grows for you daily, especially those of you who are away from your homes and families, and we want you to know that you are not alone.

Critical also to the health and sustenance of our ecosystem, the past two weeks have found the senior and middle managers in constant research and trial mode to:

  1. Gauge the readiness of our students and faculty for remote facilitation of our courses.
  2. Strategize how to continue teaching remotely as per the scheduled timetable.
  3. Devise ways to upskill our faculty for remote facilitation, where necessary.
  4. Adjust courses and assessment strategies to accommodate the requisite shifts in our modes of engagement, all while ensuring that standards are not compromised.
  5. Test the feasibility of proposed software to serve the peculiar needs and nuances of our programmes.
  6. Assess the capacity of our Learning Management System (LMS) for increased migration of our courses online.
  7. Identify the requisite support to ensure the efficient delivery of our programmes.
  8. Determine the support systems that are required to ensure that vulnerable members of our community, including those with special needs, are not disadvantaged at this time.
  9. Benchmark our responses against what obtains in similar learning communities.

We have made good progress towards this end and truly appreciate the enthusiasm with which our managers, staff and faculty have extended themselves to respond to these new demands. We are ensuring that the proposed adjustments in methodology demonstrate compliance with our quality assurance mechanisms. This process is expected to conclude on Tuesday, March 31. On Wednesday, April 1, you can expect a definitive update on the way forward.

Until then, given that the impacts of this crisis have manifested differently for us all, we are encouraged to continue to think about ways that we can provide peer support to help each other through this ordeal. The arts by their very nature are cathartic/healing; let us therefore focus on ways that we can utilize and draw on our art to uplift our spirits and our communities during this difficult time. Do, also continue to take all the necessary precautions to keep yourselves safe.

Without a unified community we cannot achieve an effective or meaningful response. Together we can! Together we must!