GMIT publishes COVID-19 Response Plan
GMIT campuses re-open for classes on 28 September
Date Article Written:
Tuesday, September 1, 2020
GMIT today (Tuesday 1 September 2020) published in full its COVID-19 Response Plan outlining the ongoing measures implemented across all campuses and centres to ensure the safe return of students and staff over the next few weeks.
The plan aligns with current national public health guidance and protocols and is available to download on GMIT’s dedicated COVID-19 webpages www.gmit.ie/coronavirus. This site provides up to date information and supports for students and staff, including a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section about what students and staff are obliged to do before and after returning to campus, and links to a range of public health and mental health & wellbeing resources.
Dr Orla Flynn, President of GMIT, says: “Our priorities are twofold: ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our entire GMIT community and ensuring that our students continue to enjoy a high-quality educational experience in GMIT. We have worked hard on putting plans in place to deliver on these priorities, and I want to thank the many staff and students across all sections of the institute who assisted with this. I particularly want to welcome our new and returning students and assure them that we will be doing our utmost to support them over the next few challenging months. More communications will issue over the next few weeks and as always check our website for regular updates. I also want to acknowledge the recent funding support of the Department of Further and Higher Education, Innovation & Science.”
Dr Seamus Lennon, Chair of the GMIT Return to Campus Committee, says: “For the academic year 2020/2021, there will be a hybrid of onsite and online learning, practical classes and workshops will take place onsite for essential learning. The online learning and remote working components are being supported through a range of measures and the institute has provided appropriate IT equipment to enable staff to work remotely in an effective manner. We have also recruited graduate student mentors, whose role will be to assist and support our online students. We have invested heavily in the resources required for online delivery, and we will continue to work hard in order to provide our students with an excellent online experience.”
Victor O’Loughlin, President of the GMIT Students Union, says:'' We're looking forward to working with the students again this year, albeit in a different environment. Nevertheless, we will continue to put student issues at the forefront of our organisation and work together to make GMIT a community inclusive of those learning online and those on site.''
GMIT has already given a commitment to students that where weekly presence on campus is required for practical classes, laboratories and workshops these are being organised across consecutive days. Information on how many days on campus for each course has been available on the GMIT COVID-19 webpages since July and further details are being added on a weekly basis.
GMIT has in place a team of Lead Worker Representatives who will support and help the GMIT community to follow all measures to prevent the spread of the virus. Modification of behavior in line with the public health measures will be essential to achieve this.
The Return to Campus Protocol urges students and staff to take personal responsibility to prevent the spread of the virus by maintaining physical distancing, wearing face coverings, and following good hygiene practice. The institute will support this through the provision of signage, sanitization stations, PPE and regular updates.
In line with the current public health advice, staff are obliged to continue to work remotely for the foreseeable future, where possible. The majority of GMIT staff commenced remote working in March 2020 and their return to work on campus is on an essentially-required basis.
The full plan is available on https://www.gmit.ie/coronavirus
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Dr Orla Flynn, President of GMIT, and Victor O’Louglin, President of the GMIT Students Union, preparing for their video welcome address to students.