|▲ What do you think about how current classes are being held?
At Changwon University, two COVID-19 students have tested positive for coronavirus this month, raising fears among students. On the 3rd of this month, a student living in a dormitory was confirmed to have caught the virus. The CWNU Emergency Action Center recommended COVID-19 tests to professors and students who attended face-to-face classes and later stated that there were no additional confirmed cases. On the 10th of this month, a golf instructor at the Lifelong Education Center at Changwon University tested positive for coronavirus. The CWNU Emergency Action Center closed the golf course for the day and conducted COVID-19 tests on 22 people who were in close contact with the golf instructor, fortunately, no one else had caught the virus.
When the news that there had been confirmed cases in the school was reported, students were concerned about the possibility of getting infected with COVID-19 in face-to-face classes. Changwon University is offering a mixture of face-to-face and online classes depending on the type of class offered, and classes with more than 20 students are recommended to be held online. There are calls for a change in how classes are held, expressing fears of infection on Everytime (an anonymous student community platform that is commonly used in many universities).
The Campus Journal conducted a survey with CWNU students to ask their opinions on how classes are being held. Among the CWNU students, 67.5% take face-to-face classes and 32.5% take online classes. Among the students who take face-to-face classes, students attending 1-3 classes (78.6%) accounted for the largest portion, followed by 4-6 classes (21.4%). On the other hand, 72.5% of the respondents said they have negative feelings towards how classes are being held in the spring 2021 semester. For that reason, Hwang Chang-sol, majoring in the Department of Architecture, expressed concern about infection, saying, “It doesn’t make sense to hold face-to-face classes when there have been multiple confirmed cases in the school.” There were also concerns about class absentees. Kang Hyun-jin, majoring in the Department of Industrial Design, said, “In remote classes, students could take classes while they were in self-quarantine, but face-to-face classes were dangerous. I’m worried if students will be able to keep up with classes.”
The most common reason for keeping some classes face-to-face is that there are concerns about the spread of COVID-19, but face-to-face classes are necessary for practicums. There is also the opinion that the way classes are held should be flexible. Cho Joo-han, majoring in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, said, “Face-to-face classes are necessary for education that requires interactive communication. However, if interactive communication is not necessary, students shouldn’t have to take the risk of catching COVID-19 by taking face-to-face classes. Though it wouldn’t be good if all classes were face-to-face, I think there will be no problem if a few classes are offered face-to-face.”
As for how classes will be held in the future, 57% of respondents said, “All classes should be held remotely”, and 15% said, “A mixture of face-to-face and online classes should be offered. However, if there are more confirmed cases in school, all classes should be held remotely.” Among the other opinions (28%), one student said “I am confused because the standards for how classes should be held are not clear. I hope the standards for holding classes will be clarified by the school, not at the discretion of the professors.”
As there have been confirmed cases in the school, students are calling for Changwon University to respond more aggressively to COVID-19. In particular, students are demanding that all classes be held remotely, or that only practicum classes should be held face-to-face. Along with the school safety efforts, student safety efforts are needed. Students must do coronavirus self-checks, and students with suspected cases of COVID-19 should get tested for COVID-19. In dormitories, students should not go to other rooms except in essential cases, and time spent in communal spaces such as communal laundry rooms should be minimized. Students can prevent COVID-19 by taking small actions. Please observe social distancing for safety.
By Park Yu-jeong, cub-reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
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