|▲ The Online Status Board shows the COVID-19 situation in Changwon city (Source:Changwon City Hall|
After mid-March, the number of COVID-19 cases per day barely decreased, because there are nearly 10,000 infections per day in Changwon City alone, including increased infections in CWNU. According to the introduction of the, ‘Co-existing with COVID-19 Policy’, face-to-face offline classes were about to be conducted from the spring semester of 2022. The university also made the principle that the method of lectures would be changed only in the worst situation, where the number of COVID-19 cases in campus soars. According to the Campus Disease Control Principle, if weekly infections exceed 5% of the whole student population, most lectures except for practical or experimental classes in which face-to-face classes are necessary, will change their teaching method to online classes. If it exceeds 10% per week, all classes should be converted to non-face-to-face classes without any exceptions. In the 3rd week of March, the number of COVID-19 cases in CWNU exceeded 500 cases, far exceeding 5%, making it inevitable to switch to online classes. Most departments hurriedly announced the conversion of some classes from the fifth week of March. In the last week of March, all departments, except for the Department of Art and Music, where practical classes are essential, were notified of the conversion of two to three weeks of online classes to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Some classes even completely converted to online classes for the remaining duration of the semester.
In major universities across the peninsula, attendance rates are too low due to the rise of cases, as we enter the second and third weeks of March, there are a number of cases where students are not able to attend lectures, and who are quarantined for weeks due to close contact with infected patients. The university is conducting a full investigation on any people who took the same class with an infected student(s), however, it seems difficult to respond to the excessive infection rate. Not only CWNU, but also major universities across the nation, are converting back to online classes as a consequence of the regional spread of COVID-19 cases.
Despite the low mortality rate of 0.12%, there are over 360 deaths per day from COVID-19. CWNU and its surroundings seemed to have regained vitality due to offline face-to-face classes being conducted, but they are on the verge of becoming torpid again. Online classes have inevitably lowered the academic achievements of students, as it hinders interactions between students and professors, which is an advantage of face-to-face lectures. It is hoped that the COVID-19 situation will stabilize, allowing students to gather back at school and interact with colleagues in the university to further their academic achievements.
By Park Hyun-jong, reporter email@example.com
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