Higher Education Ministry outlines return-to-campus scheme

[26-09-2021 12:59 AM]

Ammon News -

The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research Saturday announced a "roadmap" for higher education institutions to return to on-campus learning in the 2021/2022 academic year, including all levels and degrees in public and private universities.

Ministry spokesperson Mohannad Al-Khatib said that under the scheme, the return to in-person education in Jordanian universities will be possible in the coming academic year, "but the presence of students on the university campus, in light of the current epidemiological situation in the Kingdom and the world, requires that everyone abide by instructions to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic and reduce infections among students, faculty members, administrative and technical staff and visitors."

The three-point plan, he said, includes:
1st: Preventive measures before the return to campus such as taking the Covid-19 vaccine jabs, wearing masks, PCR testing, physical distancing, a regular fortnightly statistical report on people who got one or two shots of the vaccine and those registered or not registered on the platform for double vaccination, and announcing the schedules of each course (fully in-person, blended or fully online).

2nd: Measures related to campus and university facilities, including gates, halls, library, laboratories and workshops, restaurants and cafeterias, on-campus transport, female student dormitories and the mechanism for enforcing and monitoring adherence to health procedures.

These regulations govern the entry of students to campus from more than one gate to prevent crowding, a "green certificate" by faculty members, administrative and technical staff and students or a negative PCR test before 72 hours on Sunday and Thursday morning of every week, as well as applying Defense Order No. 32 regarding higher education institutions, and assigning a task force to ensure adherence to these measures, Al-Khatib said.

3rd: Dealing with infections and contacts on campus, as follows: If the infection rate among students in the one class reaches 10% or more, it will be suspended for a period of 14 days and the whole class will shift to online learning, he said.

If the infections among faculty students are 10% or more, the faculty will be suspended and will move to e-learning for 14 days, he pointed out.

If the infection rate among all students reaches 10 per cent or more, the university, in coordination with the concerned authorities, will move to remote learning for 14 days, he said, adding that immunocompromised students, who have cancer or other underlying medical conditions, can pursue their education remotely and are subject to on-campus evaluation. The health protocol will apply to infected people through the 14-day home isolation, as well as their contacts, he explained.

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