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USP TO MAKE AVAILABLE 700 TABLETS TO STUDENTS ACROSS THE REGION

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Vice Chancellor and President Professor Pal Ahluwalia

The University of the South Pacific (USP) will make available 700 tablets to its students who may not have access to learning tools from home.

The University is also undertaking a survey to also determine the number of students who are not able to access remote teaching platform.

Approximately half of the tablets will be distributed among the Fiji campuses immediately. These are the Laucala, Lautoka and Labasa campuses. The distribution will be managed by the USP Library at the campuses. Tablets will be issued in the same way that books are issued. Students needing a tablet are encouraged to enquire at their nearest campus. The remaining ones will be sent to the regional campuses once the borders are opened.

Vice Chancellor and President Professor Pal Ahluwalia said that the distribution will ensure everyone has a fair chance to education and equal learning experience.

He added that this is one of the ways USP is ensuring that the students do not lag behind and it is the University’s core activity to make sure that all the students complete their studies.

From the initial set of data USP received, about 89% of the students have some electronic equipment or gadget such as Laptop/PC, Tablet, or Smart Phone.  The University is still receiving feedback and this figure may change. 

USP has also opened all Campuses, region-wide from 8am to at 8pm, Monday to Friday and 8am to 5pm on Saturday to access the computer labs and the libraries.  These facilities have incorporated appropriate COVID-19 restrictions such as social distancing.

Furthermore, the students with Vodafone or Digicel sim cards can access the USP sites and Moodle for free.

Fortunately, with University’s time-tested experience in flexible learning and teaching since 1970, USP was able to convert, within a short period, almost 300 face-to-face courses, to online courses, whilst meeting the required minimal standard of online learning and teaching delivery. 

USP has had a very long history in flexible learning and teaching, which include delivering purely online courses. The University’s Centre for Flexible Learning (CFL) is fully devoted to the professional development of online courses. CFL is now even more engaged in supporting interaction between the teaching staff and the students and is monitoring daily student participation levels. 

USP has also formed a Learning and Teaching Continuity Team that is tasked with monitoring the quality of our online delivery.

Whilst USP is switching to remote learning due to COVID -19 pandemic, it must be pointed out that these are temporary measures and we will resume face to face teaching as soon as Government relaxes current social distancing requirements.  The University is confident that given the excellent control over COVID-19 by all the member Governments, USP will return to normal in Semester 2. 

Finally, USP urges all of the students to continue their classes online via Moodle.  The continuous assessments have incorporated flexible rules, which means that it is not too late to continue.

Students are encouraged to stay focused on studies and be in regular contact with their course coordinators.
 


This news item was published on 14 May 2020 02:11:18 pm. For more information or any High-Res Images, please contact us on email communications@usp.ac.fj


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