By Quinell Ming
(Photo by: Terrence Wilson)
United Student Movement (USM) Vice President of Student Services and Social Affairs, Wrenae Hudson says that alternatives are being installed to ease growing concerns of practicum students during the corona virus epidemic.
In light of the effects this worldwide health crisis has had on Jamaica and more specifically its educational system, there has been developing concerns around the tertiary students who are fulfilling practicum hours.
On Friday March 13, Northern Caribbean University (NCU) announced a suspension of face-to-face classes on all its campuses. This ruling becomes effective from March 16 –30, 2020.
While this stipulation affects all the students who would have needed to attend physical class sessions, it is not directed to students on practicum – as they are still formally required to fulfil their hours.
However, in a meeting held on Saturday, March 14, by the Jamaican Union of Tertiary Students (JUTS) with the State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, the Honourable Alando Terrelonge, MP, Hudson highlighted the unease in the community of nursing students on practicum.
He said, “My question is pertaining to our nursing students who we have on clinicals at the present moment. As it relates to their safety on these wards, what are the measures that we have in place to ensure these students are safe cause to date, they are still out there.”
Hudson told the Trumpet that in his response to the question, the Minister said that his sector will be speaking with the relevant councils to ensure that the appropriate decision is taken.
He also related the Minister’s intention to see every student continue their educational journey in the smoothest way possible instead of it being halted for possibly another year – even if it means extending the semester by two weeks or facilitating practical sessions in classrooms.
According to Hudson, Terrelonge said that assessments and contact with administrators will continue to be made within the next 10 days and the nation will be advised after a decision has been made.
In the meantime, all students are encouraged to observe all the necessary safety precautions as stipulated by the ministry of health as we do our best to manoeuvre this global health crisis.