Fecha: Monday, 16 de March de 2020 a las 14:30h
On Saturday, March 14th, the Spanish Government’s Royal Decree 463/2020 declared a State of Alarm in the whole national territory. This regulation, in force from that same day, affects the entire population currently in Spain, and particularly educational institutions. Its article 9 (Contention measures on education and training) states the temporary suspension of face-to-face teaching activities in all educational institutions at all levels.
This measure is consistent and compatible with those that had been already taken in Catalonia. From Friday, March 13th to April 3rd (included), face-to-face teaching at our university has been suspended, in accordance with the Catalan Government’s Health Department, March 12th resolution SLT/719/2020.
Because the end of the suspension will coincide with the beginning of the Holy Week holidays, face-to-face teaching -if the evolution of the epidemic disease will allow it- will resume on Tuesday, April 14th, 2020. The State of Alarm declaration does not alter this calendar.
The suspension will also apply to work placements and practicum, as these activities are also considered to be a type of face-to-face learning.
Starting on Monday, March 16th, teaching will be carried out in a non face-to-face manner, online. Universitat Abat Oliba CEU has put all the necessary mechanisms in place to be able to continue its teaching activities during the temporary suspension of face-to-face learning. Blackboard will be the basic tool used for online teaching and to communicate with professors during this period. When the professor in charge of a course will consider it appropriate, he or she may also use Blackboard Collaborate Ultra -a Blackboard extension- for online lecturing. As soon as possible we will provide you with a link to tutorials and information regarding the use of this digital platform.
Additionally, professors in charge of courses taught at an undergraduate, masters, doctoral or diploma level, are developing an adapted work plan (including online continued assessment) to complete and enhance teaching activities.
On another note, we are developing a contingency plan that will establish the possibility to adapt -as necessary- the academic calendar to the changing requirements of the situation.
All the above is in accordance with CRUE’s proposals. This organization, which gathers all Spanish Universities’ Rectors, has already scheduled several meetings, with national and provincial authorities, that will lead to specify the general measures which have been taken.
We have no knowledge of our university students or staff being infected by coronavirus yet. Should a student be detected positive to COVID-19, we kindly ask him/her to get in touch with the Students Affairs Office (firstname.lastname@example.org). The Ministry of Health and the Catalan Government’s Health Department remind the population the need to call 061 at any symptom of this disease.
Information and measures taken
In recent days, some precautionary measures were already taken, such as the suspension of trips abroad promoted by the University, the suspension of teaching activities, work placements or practicums which were being carried out in Health Centers, or the postponement of extracurricular activities such as the suspension of the Open House scheduled for March 14th.
Moreover, our Occupational Hazard Prevention Department implemented measures to minimize the risk of infection in a coordinated effort with the actions promoted by the CEU group. Hence, the supply of hygiene products was increased; actions were taken to raise awareness on good hygienic habits, and the advice of health experts was used regarding the implementation of possible measures in our educational institution.
Through our website and the intranet, we will provide updates on the situation and the actions which will be eventually carried out.
Besides insisting on the importance of basic hygienic behaviours (frequent hand washing; no mouth, nose and eye touching; elbow coughing or sneezing, among others), we join the authorities in the call for responsibility on the need to comply with the imposed provisions and the usefulness of following the recommendations which have been given.
We also invite to consult the recommendations and updated information that is being published by the official channels of public institutions: ·
Ultimately, because of the Christian inspiration of our university, and given the repercussions of the situation on religious activities, we also recommend the reading of the Pastoral Letter addressed by Card. Juan José Omella, Archbishop of Barcelona, to the members of the Archdiocese.