UG students to complete ‘labs’ under strict physical distancing guidelines

─Campus to reopen on May 30 for essential staff, students

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, April 30, 2020

University of Guyana students in the Natural, Health and Environmental Science departments will be permitted to complete ‘labs” which are a part of their mandatory formal assessment.

This was disclosed by Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paloma Mohamed during an interview with DPI.

The University is expected to reopen for essential students and staff on May 30.

Professor Mohamed said a timetable system will be employed to allow for all students to complete their assessments while ensuring their and the staff’s safety.

“If we have a bigger disruption, then we will have a different conversation but that’s not something that anybody could reasonably predict,” she explained.

Noting that the new system will lengthen the total time the course will take to complete, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor informed that UG will not penalise students and is working closely to ensure that all students, particularly final year students can complete their prescribed labs.

The university is also preparing more permanent safety solutions for all, including response initiatives to deal with any natural or other disasters when the campus is formally reopened.

“Even if COVID-19 lets up, we have some other things we were looking at and modelling, for example, climate issues, what happens if you have a flood? UG has had its eyes on that for the last year and a half, so, for us this is an opportunity to build a mobile system,” Professor Mohamed said

For the project assessments – which have replaced the end of semester finals – that require students and staff to be on campus, strict adherence to physical distancing measures will be ensured; even if it means working through June, July and August.

“If there are things students will not be able to do in this semester, wet labs etc., they may have to do those courses later on in a third makeup semester, but we are analysing how many people are in that scenario right now.”

UG has committed all its resources toward supporting students and staff during this time. According to a release, about 25 percent of university students do not have access to regular, stable internet access.