Preparations are underway at post-secondary institutions to welcome back students physically. Today TVM visited MCAST and ITS to follow closely the preparations for the new school year.
Post-secondary institutions are working hard to get students back on the school benches. Although online lessons have served well during the two years of pandemic, many have expressed a desire to return to school to benefit from the full experience and maintain more direct contact with teachers and peers.
MCAST and ITS are among the institutions that will physically welcome students back to the classrooms, always in accordance with the regulations issued by the health department. These include wearing masks, taking temperature and disinfecting hands, tables and chairs.
Alison Zammit, Deputy Director at the Institute of Applied Sciences within MCAST, explained to TVM what the work plan for the new school year would be like.
“Classrooms will see one metre distance between students and two metres between students and teacher, as stipulated in the protocol issued by the health department. The desks will be numbered and students will have to sit on that desk so that we know exactly who sat where for contact tracing purposes. ”
Even when it comes to practicals, MCAST has divided its laboratories in such a way that regulations are respected.
“The desks are all divided into an area for each student to have an individual set for them and when it comes to certain ‘hot desks’, students can go one by one and can’t go all at once and have to keep that distance. ”
The same protocols are being applied by the Institute of Tourism Studies, ITS, as explained by the Operations Officer, Glen Farrugia.
“In the practical part, when it comes to kitchens for instance, it is not always possible, but there we stick to bubbles, we assign a specific group which does not change and the same bubble works in different laboratories every day and at set times. ”
Returning to school, however, does not completely exclude the possibility of online lessons. Glen Farrugia explained how of the 50 courses offered within ITS, 23 of them are full-time, while the rest are part-time or short courses. Therefore, for reasons of convenience, some of the courses will be able to continue from home.
“This is a very imp tool, so when it comes to part time courses, even for the convenience of the people working in the industry, these will continue to be given online; full time courses will also have an online element, but most of the study programs will be delivered on campus. ”
Both institutions are looking forward to the return of students in early October and are recommending that students follow the regulations and stay home if they feel unwell.