Education 11:37 08 Sep 2020

Temperature of 33,5 C no longer surprises people: how Ukrainian students study at the time of COVID-19

Фото facebook.com/ntuu.kpi

September 1st became a starting point not only for hundreds of thousands of pupils, but also for tens of thousands of students. They can become a point of COVID-19 spreading, because administrations at the universities have a lot of problems with the organization of their studying process.   

It is very hard to keep a distance at the classes, all the more in dormitories. Especially when administrations of certain universities do not pay attention to quarantine rules. How Ukrainian students study at a time of COVID-19 – tells "Rubryka".

Students in the face of COVID-19

Almost all universities have started their work since the beginning of September. Lectures, seminars and dormitories became a typical life for hundreds of Ukrainian students. The Ministry of Education recommended to pay attention to the  infection areas.

When a region has "green" or "yellow" infection rate, students can attend university with no problems. But when a region has a "red" rate, everyone should come back to online-studying and attend classes only via ZOOM (videoconference). 

In case of "orange" rate, Ministry of Education recommended for universities to use a mixed educational system. It means that while one student group attends classes, another studies at home, plus that provides for keeping a distance between people, mask regime, thorough cleaning, disinfection and completion of the form about the health condition at the beginning of the day. 

"Three days a week we attend classes, and two days work online. We have a subscription to Microsoft Teams (software for communication, meeting and others tasks) and get all the necessary information. The classes go well, but, frankly speaking, it is much more interesting to attend it at the university, because your attention is focused on material and your lecturer. Studying online is harder, because you just open a program, put headphones on and get information not to the same extent as in real life", – a student of Kyiv National Economic University Yuliia Markova told "Rubryka". 

A head of students union Kateryna Davydkova told us about living in dormitory. "Everyone is very responsible and pays attention to full disinfection and mask regime. There are also special isolations, but that does not stop virus spreading. A lot of new students from different cities and towns move into our dormitory, and it is very hard to watch everyone. But in whole, administration conducts themselves professionally and tries to protect people who live there".

Meanwhile, there was a case, when student from Kyiv National Economic University felt very bad, he had a sore throat and temperature. 

"He understood the risk and stayed in his room. On the third day he lost a sense of smell and it was pretty clear that he was infected with COVID-19. This boy got tested at his own expense (1800 hryvnias – much more than academic scholarship). 

The next day he got a positive result, packed up and went home for treatment. He also informed the administration about that and listed people he communicated with. Every student, who had a contact with this boy was tested at the expense of the university. We have a rule, that when an amount of infected students will be higher than 5, we close the dormitory", – the head of the students union summed up. 

студенти карантин освіта

Photo facebook.com/ntuu.kpi

It is very interesting to study at others universities of our country. For example, in Mykolaiv. This city has a "green" rate, for there are not too many cases of COVID-19.

Viacheslav, a student of one of the local universities, told "Rubryka", that our state did not provide his university with necessary things to protect from infection. Departments and deaneries should buy everything at their own expense. 

A person standing at the entrance takes the temperature only about at 9 in the morning. When you come to the university at 11 a.m., nobody checks your temperature. And one more strange thing: a person who does this job is not surprised with a temperature of 33,5 C. It means, there is something wrong with these thermometers. As to the masks, people keep the regime in name only.  

Regarding the studying, we have three shifts. For example, Masters have their classes in the evening and some students study until 19:50 and that is not comfortable for them. The university administration does not inform students whether there are infected people", – told Viacheslav.

студенти карантин освіта

Photo facebook.com/ntuu.kpi

What happens next

Nobody can presage that. Everything depends on spreading of COVID-19 throughout the country. If the amount of infected people increases rapidly, universities will close their doors for students. The administrations at the educational establishments try not to comment on their future studying form, making reference to the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health.  

On top of all this, according to Olena Nikulina, universities and schools will come back to online-studying anyway in 1-2 months due to the infection spread increase. 

"Unfortunately, the majority of universities doesn't have enough resources (the state did not provide finances from the COVID-fund to education), the teachers are not motivated (however, there are some exceptions) and that's why we should not expect a better quality of online-studying in autumn and winter", – Olens explained to "Rubryka". 

A lot of universities try to adapt to new rules and go beyond mask regime or mixed educational system.

"For example Kyiv Polytechnic Institute imposed conditions for first-years, thus, they should have a personal computer to take part in online-studying. Such conditions are convenient for universities, but it is not fair to low-income students", – added Nikulina.

According to a source from "Sluha Narodu" party close to the Committee on Education and Science, none of the officials risks predicting the further course of the pandemic in Ukraine. But the interlocutor of the publication does not rule out that with the current trend full-time education in educational institutions may cease in the coming months.


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