Sep 17, 2020

Level Three Shouldn’t Curtail Face-to-Face Teaching, Says Provost

Students can expect another update from the Provost after the government's announcement on level three, which is expected to come tomorrow.

Cormac WatsonEditor
Sinéad Baker for The University Times

Trinity students can expect the number of in-person teaching hours they have to remain the same even if the government moves to level three in its coronavirus roadmap, the Provost announced today.

In an email to all students, Provost Patrick Prendergast said that “the roadmap, as we understand it, does not envisage further curtailing of face-to-face teaching unless we reach Level 4”.

The new level-three restrictions for Dublin that the government is expected to confirm tomorrow will, however, “envisage additional measures to ‘limit congregation’”.


The College is currently “trying to ascertain what additional measures we may need to put in place to achieve this”, he added.

The announcement comes despite reports from RTÉ News today that the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) is likely to recommend that all Dublin-based higher education institutions should shift as much learning online as possible, in response to level three restrictions.

The Provost also said that a new update from Trinity would be sent to students “within a few hours” of the government’s announcement.

“We know that you are looking forward to starting or resuming your university education, and we are aware of the many sacrifices you currently have to make in the interest of public health”, the Provost concluded. “We want to thank you sincerely for playing your part in keeping the virus at bay”.

RTÉ News reported that the cabinet COVID-19 Sub Committee will meet tomorrow to make a final decision on the possible introduction of level three restrictions.

The Government launched Resilience and Recovery 2020-2021: Plan for Living with COVID-19 earlier this week, which consists of five levels of restrictions that may be imposed to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Ireland is currently at level two restrictions, with Dublin having some additional restrictions.

If level three restrictions are imposed on the capital, further, higher and adult education institutions are expected “to escalate all appropriate protective measures and limit congregation as far as possible”, according to the Government’s website.

On Sunday, The University Times reported that all students would have some in-person learning in the coming semester.

In an interview with this newspaper, Senior Lecturer Kevin Mitchell said that when formulating the timetables College had worked to “balance the desire to have face-to-face teaching with the need to abide by the safety restrictions and look across the different activities to see which ones can be done well online and which ones can only be done face to face and which ones you would rather do face to face”.

The teaching term is due to commence on the September 28th, with second, third and fourth years scheduled to begin classes that week. Freshers’ week is set to take place on September 28th also.

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