COVID 19 PANDEMIC: IMPACT ON NCU’S STUDENTS
By| O’Jay Cole, Journalist
(Photo: Terrence Wilson)
Considering the COVID 19 pandemic and airlines curtailing their schedules the Northern Caribbean University’s (NCU) administration is advising international students residing on the dormitories to quickly finalize travel arrangements to return home. In an announcement, yesterday at the university’s male dormitory Cedar Hall, a Resident Advisor said Jamaican students are expected to leave by today March 20, 2020, and international students by Monday, March 22, 2020. The resident advisor also encouraged international students to contact their respective embassies.
This advice from the university’s administration did not sit well with some international students who are now pondering their next move considering that some countries have closed their borders. “We all are angry with the university! We feel that they should have sent us home a long time before and not wait until later when now we don’t have a country to go, neither a place of assurance of survival in a strange land with a student visa and with everyone given us their backs” said international student residing on the male dormitory.
Another international student has expressed that the abrupt notice to return to his country is unnerving. “The fact that they didn’t specify any stipulations in place for those who can’t afford or allowed to go back,” he said. Though Jamaican students aren’t as disadvantaged as international students in this situation there are Jamaican communities that are under quarantine, in the event a dorm resident lives in one of these communities there will be difficulty entering. These communities are Seven and Eight Miles communities of Bulls Bay, St Andrew and Corn Piece in Clarendon.
The Hilltop Trumpet issued a poll to a sample of NCU students to ascertain the impact of the COVID 19 virus on student life. The results of the poll showed that 70% of students’ academic lives have been affected by the virus, 42.1% have experienced a sad/depressive state due to self-quarantine and 55% are adjusting to physical classes being offered online.
A recent update on the spread of the virus from the Jamaica Gleaner dated March 19, 2020 states “Jamaica has confirmed another case of the Coronavirus. This has pushed to 16, the number of confirmed cases. The patient travelled from New York on March 10, 2020, and has been isolated at the St Ann’s Bay Hospital in St Ann since Tuesday”.