Due to the possible spread of the 2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), the Office of the Chancellor (OC) gave directives on the different stakeholders of the UPLB community on Tuesday to mitigate the potential threats brought by the disease.
Effective immediately, the memo was a in line with the government’s Proclamation No. 922, or the declaration of state of public emergency following the spike of cases of COVID-19 patients in the country.
One of the highlights that the memo has stated is that all planned and on-going extra curricular activities, and also all activities organized by cause-oriented and special-interest groups that are based outside the university that will attract people are hereby prohibited or cancelled. These encompass the annual Palarong UPLB, the Saturday Market, other sports-related events such as sports clinics, zumbas, and other tournaments.
In that sense, concerned offices that were involved in the issuance of permits to the said events are given the directives to revoke it and reimburse the money that was paid to them.
Classes will continue
Usual classroom activities inside the campus shall continue provided that health measures are exercised.
However, if there is a need to suspend the classes, the UP System’s Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs (OVPAA) already prepared an academic contigency plan that crafted the guidelines instructing the faculty to utilize blended learning that mostly relies on the utilization of virtual learning platforms such as Zoom, Edmodo, Google Hangouts, and Classroom.
“”All faculty members will have to adjust their pedagogy and assessment of existing classes even if they were designed in the traditional lecture mode,” Academic Affairs Vice President Maria Cynthia Rose Baustista said.
Moreover, the UP Open University already offered its Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) to the faculty to use on the affected classes.
On off-campus activities
Field trips subject to the fulfilment of academic requirements are also temporarily suspended and should be moved to a later date, with consideration on the university’s academic calendar.
Meanwhile, those students who are in their practicum, earning clinic hours, and collecting data from their undergraduate and master’s thesis are advised to follow the health department’s safety precautions.
With regards to students, staff, and faculty members’ official trips and conferences locally, they shall follow protection measures prescribed by the DOH. Nonetheless, official foreign trips woth regards to academics and extension activities on the said stakeholders will be temporarily banned by the administration and personal foreign travels are discourages.
If the travel abroad of faculty members and staff were approved, they should observe a 14 day self-quarantine protocols to ensure the safety and well-being of every individual.
The Chancellor also ensured the UPLB community that the University Health Service already developed its protocols to address the threats of the COVID-19 in the university.
Moreover, the said memo will be executed until the state of the public health emergency is lifted. Measures will also take place until the threat of the disease is contained or eradicated. [P]