Universities switch to online learning following issuing of red alert

The universities based in the capital city decided to switch to online learning after red COVID-19 alert was issued in the municipality of Chisinau.

Igor Șarov, rector of the State University of Moldova (USM), has told IPN that USM will fully obey the decisions of the extraordinary public health commissions. The students will study online at least until January 22. The scientific meetings, conferences and other similar events planned for the immediate period will also be held online while the red alert is in force. Even if attendance in lecture theaters and student-teacher interaction cannot be replaced by remote learning, the law will be obeyed.  83% of the lecturers teaching at USM and 47% of the students got vaccinated against COVID-19.

Viorel Bostan, rector of the Technical University of Moldova (UTM), said 95% of lectures at their University will be held online. Later, if the red alert is maintained, online learning will be continued. “In the engineering programs of study, students should attend practical classes as they work with equipment. These classes involve only three-four students. The lectures to work on theses will also be held online,” said the rector, noting distance learning cannot ensure the same quality of studies as physical attendance.

Viorel Bostan also said that UTM provided teachers with 500 laptops bought during a year and a half with the University’s own funds. The students secure what they need for online learning themselves. A month ago, the COVID-29 vaccination rate at the University among lecturers was about 80%, while among students living in dorms – approximately 50%.

Grigore Belostecinic, rector of the Academy of Economic Studied (ASEM), noted that they switched to online learning on January 13, when Chisinau was on orange alert, and will maintain remote learning until March 15 at least as the COVID-19 situation hasn’t improved. Their University already has experience in online learning, but this is not the best teaching method. The ASEM students and teachers who do not have a computer or Internet connection can go to the University’s lecture halls. There were not many such requests yet.

According to the latest data, half of the ASEM students got a vaccine against COVID-19, while the teachers already get a booster dose, the vaccination rate among lecturers of the University being of over 70%.

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