‘Reopen varsities, colleges in stages’

An article published in the News Strait Times news has highlighted the reopening of public and private higher education institutions (HEIs) must be done in phases, and online teaching and learning should continue until the Covid-19 situation improves in the country.

Academicians and health experts said the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) being drawn up by the Higher Education Ministry should be flexible and offer plans for both contingencies — for a total or partial physical reopening of campuses and an alternative scenario where teaching and learning continue to take place online.

Associate Professor Dr Rafdzah Ahmad Zaki said HEIs should be encouraged to continue with the “new norm” post-MCO. HEIs should limit students on campus grounds, and only bringing back those that need hands-on practical sessions. She said most varsities had adapted well to e-learning and this should be continued to minimise close contact with one another on campus grounds.

“Lecturers have to be creative in converting their mode of teaching, without jeopardising the quality of education. There are many platforms and methods that lecturers can use to make sure online learning is effective and fun.”

Rafdzah Ahmad Zaki

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