Announcements

In reference to the NCTE directive dated 11th March, 2020 to public Universities, this document is prepared as a contingency plan to ensure continuity of education in the event that the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) forces the closing down of institutions by government. The document among other measures put in place in the development of online educational resources and plan for large scale delivery of distance education to students of the University of Professional Studies, Accra.  

  1. Use of Virtual Learning Platform
    1. All teaching and learning materials should be prepared by Lecturers for weeks 7th to 12th of the Semester and uploaded on the virtual learning platform for students to access. The learning management platform should be used to prepare teaching and learning materials. Lecturers should also prepare weekly assignments for students through the appropriate platforms.
    2. Lecturers should be given training on the use of the learning management platform.
    3. Lecturers should submit their teaching plan for the semester to ensure that adequate provisions have been made in case of any eventuality.
  2. Creation of Awareness of the Virus and Prevention
    1. Structured awareness creation of the virus should be carried out in the lecture halls and through the use of fliers, billboards etc.
    2. Lecturers should document students who show signs of the virus and refer them to the University Clinic.
    3. Fliers on the symptoms of the virus should be developed for lecturers.
    4. Students should be educated on “social distance” to help them keep their distance and allow space between themselves.
    5. The use of the elevators should be shut down. They should be reserved for only physically challenged students.
    6. The washrooms should be kept clean and provided with soaps regularly.
    7. Sanitizers should also be made available at vantage points on campus.

 

  1. IT Strategies
    1. All teaching materials should be uploaded on the existing learning management platform system to enable virtual teaching to take place. The current model should be test-run to ensure that it could be used for the purpose.

 

  1. ISTD Strategies
    1. ISTD to develop a system to help send information on the virus to the staff through their Personal Computers; such information should pop up as they log in.
    2. Need to conduct 2 or 3 online assignments for students per week.

 

Educational and Instructional Technology (EIT) Strategies

  1. There should be an Educational and Instructional Technology Team in collaboration or with or under supervision of the Distance Learning School. The team shall ensure the efficient deployment of UPSA-Virtual and provide the necessary training and support services for the smooth implementation of educational and instructional technologies. The functions of the Team shall include but not limited to:
    1. Create Courseware using existing course materials on UPSA-Virtual.
    2. Provide the necessary guidelines for online teaching and learning
    3. Implement strategies to ensure end-users are equipped with requite training and skills for online teaching and learning
    4. Ensure adherence to required standards for online teaching and learning
    5. Provide end-user support to faculty members and students
    6. Monitor and evaluate the operations and activities UPSA-Virtual for continuous improvement
    7. Evaluate relevant technologies or systems to adopted for teaching and learning

 

  1. Lead lecturers should submit Slides presentation (PowerPoint) of the current semester course to the HoD. The contents should include;
    1. PowerPoint presentation for each week
    2. Each week should have interactive activities relating to the content (slides) for that week
    3. Activities should include forum discussions, Objectives, short easy and case studies
  2. ISTD should provide the list of all those admitted into 2019/2020 academic year
  3. ISTD will provide the list of all registered students in format each student and number registered courses or all registered courses and enrolled students
  4. ISTD should deploy the ZOOM account to enhance virtual interactions
  5. Virtual Classroom
  6. Each lecturer[s] will maintain the usual timetable periods virtually
  7. Students Services
  8. Portals on the system for students to request for services such as
  9. Introductory letters
    1. Staff must keep their emails active to receive request
    2. Activate social media WhatsApp groups
    3. Students should be encouraged to utilise the upsamail

 

  1. International Travels, Collaboration and Other Protocols
    1. All international travel of staff and students to China, Italy, Iran, Korea, France, Spain, Germany, USA Switzerland and Japan is prohibited.
    2. All official, university-related, non-essential international travel is suspended until further notice.
    3. All official, University-related, non-essential domestic air travel is suspended until further notice.
    4. All personal/unofficial international travel is strongly discouraged. Any member (staff or student) of the university community who returns from a location with a CDC level 3 travel warning for Novel Coronavirus, must complete a confidential health form at least

48 hours before returning/arrival to campus and self-isolate using guidance from the UPSA Health Services. Most self-isolations last 14 days.

  1. We strongly urge extreme caution and judgment for personal domestic travel, especially when it involves non-essential meetings or events of 25 people or more.
  2. All incoming and outgoing exchange programmes, as well as international visits of professors, foreign partners and collaborators from China, Italy, Iran, Korea, France, Spain, Germany, USA Switzerland and Japan, are prohibited.
  3. All non-essential incoming and outgoing exchange programmes as well as international visits of professors, foreign partners and collaborators are suspended until further notice.
  4. Staff and students already out on international travel that has visited or made a stopover in China, Italy, Iran, Korea, France, Spain, Germany, USA Switzerland and Japan should inform the University on arrival by contacting 026-501-8126.
  5. All UPSA contractors who hire international workers must have them complete a confidential form with the UPSA Human Resources Office and the UPSA Health Services. This is a mandatory requirement until further notice.

 

Notes:

  • All employees must receive approval from the Vice-Chancellor before any international travel.
  • The University Community is entreated to avoid making assumptions about individuals who they believe may demonstrate symptoms of the virus to avoid discrimination or harassment due to biased assumptions and overreactions.
  • Kindly note that this situation is fluid and changes will be made to this policy as needed.
  • Travel of international students would be monitored to ensure that they do not import the virus into the country.

 

 

  1. Medical Services
  2. The nature of the virus and its mode of transmission demand a preventive approach that is hinged on personal and environmental hygiene to prevent the spread of the virus in the event of a case being diagnosed on campus, the hostels or the broad neighbouring community which also houses many of our students.
  3. All members of the University Community (Members of Staff, Students, Contractors and Visitors) shall be required to observe the highest levels of personal and environmental hygiene.
  4. Basic Information on the COVID -19 and any other emerging infectious or other diseases as shall be come necessary will be developed and disseminated to members of the University Community periodically.
  5. Deliberate efforts at providing education on the COVID – 19 and other health conditions, as may become needful, shall be undertaken through the following avenues: 
    1. Posting of health education materials on the subject matter to provide relevant information aimed at prevention and containment.
    2. Relevant Case Defining briefs, modes transmission and prevention information shall be disseminated to the University Community through established regular channels of communication (Notice Boards, WhatsApp platforms of various groups of staff and students, the internet, posters at vantage points).
    3. Lecturers shall be provided with basic information on the disease condition to enable them use 2 – 5 minutes of their lecture time to share such information with students.
  6. Where a lecturer or member of staff notices any student or other member of staff to exhibit any symptom such as cough, cold or difficulty in breathing they shall advice such student or member of staff to report to the clinic for evaluation.
  7. It shall be the duty of any member of staff or student to protect others from contracting any infection from them and thus shall take all necessary reasonable steps to avoid spreading any infection they may have. It is the primary responsibility of any student or member of staff to report to a health facility or see a doctor when they are ill particularly when they have a fever, cough, cold or difficulty in breathing.
  8. As much as practically possible all members of the University Community must avoid clustering together for any activity including before, during and after lectures religious and sporting activities.
  9. The COVID 19 spread most rapidly through contaminated hands touching the face and it is therefore important that all observe proper hand hygiene and avoiding touching of the face. This is one very important step to break the cycle of transmission.
  10. It is important that all must avoid close contact with people suffering from any form of acute respiratory infections (cold, flu, cough, fever, difficulty in breathing, chest pains).
  11. Frequent hand hygiene (washing hands with soap under running water or use of alcohol-based hand rub), especially after direct contact with ill people or their environment must be strictly observed. To this end, regular flow of water and provisions of soap in all restrooms (toilets, urinals) shall be ensured.
  12. Although alcohol hand rub sanitizers may be made available at vantage points on the campus and at the hostel, all members of the University Community (Student, Members of Staff, Contractors and Visitors) are strongly encouraged to have their own personal hand sanitizers for use on and out of campus.
  13. Any person with symptoms of acute respiratory infection should practice the following:
    1. respiratory etiquette (when coughing and/or sneezing  cover mouth and nose with handkerchief, elbow or tissue (appropriately disposing of the tissue immediately after use))
    2. wear a medical mask
    3. seek medical care for advice
    4. avoid close contact with others
    5. be preventive-minded to protect others
  14. The Medical Directorate shall be undertaking periodic training on the COVID – 19 and other relevant disease condition for all staff members of the Medical Directorate to adequately prepare for both the prevention and containment of the disease if it should occur.
  15. All suspected cases meeting the Case Definition for COVID -19 infection who report to the UPSA Clinic shall be appropriately processed and the National COVID -19 Suspect Reporting System triggered for the patient’s onward transportation to a designated National Isolation Centre.
  16. The Medical Directorate shall coordinate the medical response and shall from time to time brief the Management and Members of the University Community on situational changes or emerging concerns of health.

 

Issued from the Office of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor

………………………

Prof. Charles Barnor

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