GMIT has this week published its COVID-19 Response Plan, outlining the measures being implemented to ensure the safety of staff and students this year.
The plans, available to download here, is based national public health guidance and protocols, and details the response team’s within GMIT, distancing and hygiene protocols, both in general and for specific areas, and how the IoT will handle any cases and contact tracing.
President of GMIT Dr Orla Flynn said, “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.”
GMIT is providing up to date information and supports for students and staff though a dedicated coronavirus section of its website at www.gmit.ie/coronavirus.
This includes 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.
For the coming year there will be a “hybrid” of onsite and online learning, Dr Seamus Lennon, Chair of the GMIT Return to Campus Committee, says, an approach similar to what is being taken at most colleges and universities this year.
Among the measures being taken to help students with the online learning portion of their courses for the coming year is the enhanced use of graduate student mentors, who have already been recruited for this purpose.
“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,” Dr Lennon said.
In order to provide clarity to students about how much time on campus will be required this year, a concern for students seeking accommodation, GMIT has said that where there are in person practical classes, laboratories, and workshops, the IoT has been scheduling those across consecutive days.
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.
Victor O’Loughlin, President of the GMIT Students Union, said, ” 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.”