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Wednesday, 22 April 2020 20:18

DWU prepares for class resumption

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                                                               Staff of the Faculty of Medcine and Health Sciences in a workshop on "Flipped Learning" with

                                                               Associate Professor Iwona Kolodziejczyk PhD, director of the Centre for Learning and Teaching recently. 


Divine Word University is preparing to resume classes on Monday 27 April.

This follows an announcement by the Prime Minister James Marape this week to lift restrictions on academic activities and allow higher education institutions to resume classes on the date.

The suspension of classes in all educational institutions were among measures the Government of Papua New Guinea took on 23 March after the detection of the country's first positive coronavirus case.

The two weeks lookdown was followed by the Parliament voting for and declaring a national State of Emergency for two months that also decided that classes remained suspended until the decision to lift the restrictions this week.

The Government expects higher education institutions to resume classes as long as they put in place safety measures to mitigate any occurrence and spread of the coronavirus on their respective campuses.

DWU was tentatively informed of the government decision and is awaiting formal written correspondence from the Department of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (DHERST) with details of the government decision.

Deputy President of DWU, Professor Father Philip Gibbs informed the DWU community that the management is awaiting specific instructions from DHERST about the resumptions of classes.

Professor Gibbs said: “So, it seems we can resume next Monday (27 April).

"There will be some conditions."

"I will share that when we receive them.”

DWU, on its part, had planned to resume classes last Tuesday 14 April after putting in place necessary safety protocols to mitigate COVID 19. The University had been awaiting direction from the Controller of the State of Emergency Mr David Manning to resume classes throughout last week.

Professor Gibbs noted then how staff and students and the University management felt they were ready for classes starting last week. He said the decision was reached after assessing the coronavirus response measures put in place on campus, the capacity to conduct classes in ways that include online content, and consultation with authorities.

The University has beefed up staffing and resources at its Alessandro Clinic in the main Madang campus and put in place contingency plans to mitigate any occurrence of COVID 19 on campus.

Professor Gibbs said: “New health workers have joined us so now we are fortunate to be able to offer 24 on-call service at our clinic.

He told DWU community: “You will notice that we are setting up part of the St John Paul II hall for people to come first where a decision can be made as to whether they are attended to at the Clinic or elsewhere.
The hotline numbers are Digicel 75722527. and Bmobile. 78394610”.

A notable feature of DWU’s preparedness to resume classes is the training of teaching staff to use various information communication technologies-based non-contact academic program delivery modes.

DWU’s Centre of Learning and Teaching headed by Associate Professor Iwona Kolodziejczyk PhD has been in the for front of preparing teaching staff to use more ICT non-contact academic program delivery modes.

The academics have variously engaged with their students online using the Moodle learning management systems and other online platforms during the initial 14-day nationwide lockdown and the subsequent State of Emergency. Ends/

Read 2493 times Last modified on Wednesday, 22 April 2020 21:28
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