While many of us are counting on the fact that the Movement Control Order will end by 1st April 2020 and we will be able to return to our lives as normal, Universiti Sains Malaysia doesn’t seem to be as optimistic about how things will go. According to Malay Mail, in plans outlined by the public university, USM will continue to hold online classes up until September of this year, as it believes that the Covid-19 outbreak may need anywhere between four to six months to contain properly.
This comes after the public university posted an update on its official Facebook page that described its intentions on moving forward in the coming months with ‘USM Project Overcome‘, an initiative aimed at coping with the Covid-19 outbreak. The decision of proceeding with online classes was made through feedback obtained from students in another post.
“We are of the opinion that it will take at least 4 to 6 months for Covid-19 to be contained.
In addition, our experts are with the opinion that, should students return to USM, we would not be able to effectively safeguard against the risk of exposure for all 14,000+ students in their respective Desasiswa for a number of reasons, including the use of communal toilets and eateries,” said university authorities.
As for classes, all undergraduate online learning will resume on April 5th for its Kubang Krian campus and April 6th for all other campuses, while post-graduate supervision and assessment will resume on April 1. Post-graduate taught courses will resume April 5th for its Kubang Krian campus and April 6th for all other campuses.
With regards to examinations or viva associated with PhD or Masters students, external examiners need not be physically present as the process will be conducted entirely online with external examiners to be optional. Instead, internal examiners shall assess and pose questions on behalf of the external examiners in their absence.
Should the Movement Control Order be lifted, USM will consider allowing students back in limited numbers to conduct experiments and to empty their rooms, and also consider allowing those on campus to return home.
Currently, USM has implemented a 10-day series of temporary measures to provide food and grocery coupons worth RM10 per day to more than 3,600 students and their spouse, all of which are residing on campus due to the MCO. This 10 day initiative beginning from 21st March to 31st March 2020, will cost RM360,000.
We tip our hats off to USM for all that they have done to safeguard the well-being of their students, and most certainly hope that everyone is doing their part during the Movement Control Order to prevent the spreading of Covid-19 in Malaysia! Stay safe everyone!
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