UM to suspend face-to-face teaching over virus concerns

The Malaysian Insight

UM has postponed the check-in of students at its dormitories, which was originally scheduled for February 15 and 16, due to fears over the Wuhan virus. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, February 8, 2020.

UNIVERSITI Malaya will suspend face-to-face teaching activities for one week starting February 17 to curb the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (academic and international) Professor Dr Kamila Ghazali said the move covers lectures, tutorials and labs.

These sessions will be replaced with “non-face-to-face learning activities”, she said in an email to academic staff seen by The Malaysian Insight.

Lectures will resume normally on February 24.

The UM directive comes as the death toll from the virus tops 722 in China. It has also infected more than 34,400 people in 27 countries.

Malaysia yesterday recorded its 15th case of infection, a 59-year-old woman from Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, who was holidaying in Johor Baru.

The country has also registered its first local transmission, a 40-year-old woman who contracted the virus from her brother in Selangor.

UM academic staff contacted by The Malaysian Insight confirmed receiving the email.

“Taking into consideration the latest development in the outbreak, the university management has decided that all face-to-face teaching and learning activities (lectures, tutorials and labs) will be replaced with non-face-to-face teaching and learning activities from February 17 to 23,” said the email.

“Lectures will continue as usual on February 24.”

Lecturers are also told to upload all learning materials scheduled for the week in question to UM’s online learning platform, Spectrum, by February 17.

“Lecturers must ensure the delivery of all lessons planned for the semester. Otherwise, it is recommended that replacement classes are conducted.”

The university has also postponed the check-in of students at its dormitories, which was originally scheduled for February 15 and 16.

Students who have made travel arrangements to UM are advised to contact their respective faculties for assistance. – February 8, 2020.

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