Most Czech Universities Move Autumn Classes Online
In the light of the currently worsening COVID-19 situation in the country and new governmental regulations regarding the epidemic, most Czech universities have announced that majority of their classes will be taught remotely in the autumn 2020 semester. Because the measures of state authorities have been constantly changing, universities have been preparing for all teaching options from in-class instruction, to hybrid instruction to online instruction over the summer; and the specific form of teaching depends on current development in each region of the country. In this article, we will have a look how different universities are planning to deal with the situation.
As per the regulation of the Public Health Office of the City of Prague, personal participation of students in university teaching is prohibited as of September 21, 2020. For the time being, this measure is valid through October 31, 2020. Therefore, the semester at the Charles University started in the form of distance learning. Where it is needed (f. e. at the Faculties of Medicine), laboratory, clinical and experimental work in presence of max. 15 people is possible. The distance learning is provided vis Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Zoom or Moodle.
All UNYP classes are held online until further notice since September 21, 2020. The management of the University of New York in Prague has invested in advanced technologies and equipment for hybrid and online learning, as well as the new Perlego digital library, to further support the continuity of the high-quality education delivered to students, no matter the circumstances.
The schedule of the 2020/2021 academic year has been changed and the start date of the instruction period has been shifted forward to 26 October 2020. On the grounds of the Regulation No. 12/2020 of the Hygienic Station of the Capital City of Prague, the in-class instruction in the MUP buildings in Prague is prohibited with effect until 31 October 2020. The instruction will thus start online on 26 October 2020.
Similarly to Charles University, personal participation of students in university teaching is prohibited by the regulation of the Public Health Office of Prague until October 31, 2020. The rector of the university, Vojtěch Petráček, said that it was a complication, but the staff had been preparing for this situation during the summer. Most of the classes will be held online with the help of MS Teams, with some exceptions which must be approved by the rector.
The UCT is in the same situation as the other two universities in Prague and is ready to hold most classes via MS Teams and Moodle. Where required, in-person laboratory courses may take place in teaching groups (“in parallels”) with no more than 25 students divided into two groups.
At Masaryk University, most classes in the autumn 2020 semester will be taught remotely. Synchronous online classes and asynchronous pre-recorded lectures will be held according to official course schedules. There are some exceptions which permit students to be present at school, for example for clinical and practical courses; laboratory, experimental, and artistic work involving 15 people at most; one-on-one consultation; examinations for 10 people at most; and visiting libraries and study rooms.
Mendel University started online teaching on September 23, following the decision of the Regional Hygiene Station of the South Moravian Region. Exceptions include individual visits to libraries and study rooms, individual consultations, testing in the presence of up to 10 people, laboratory, experimental or artistic work in the presence of up to 15 people, and clinical and practical teaching and practice.
Palacký University Olomouc
The situation in Olomouc is not as bad as in Prague or Brno, which means the Palacký University did not have to go online yet. The school representatives say, that in case the situation gets worse, they are ready to teach via MS Teams, Big Blue Button, Moodle or Zoom. However, there is still a requirement to wear masks inside UP premises, which went into effect on 10 September. As the Czech Ministry of Health confirmed to UP management, students and teachers will be required to wear masks or other personal protection equipment for respiratory passages during lectures and seminars, in lecture halls and seminar rooms alike.
As of 23 September 2020, the university has moved to online teaching mode. Wearing a face mask or other protective gear reducing the spread of droplets has been reintroduced inside all university buildings as of September 10, 2020, too.
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