Jordanian universities adopt roadmap to resume in-person learning

الجامعة الاردنية ساهر
(Photos: Jordan News)
AMMAN — Jordanian universities will resume in-person classes this academic year after a year and a half of online learning.اضافة اعلان

The Ministry of Higher Education launched a three-phase roadmap to ensure the safety of students, faculty, and staff as they navigate the reopening. 

The first phase covers preventative procedures, including encouraging non-vaccinated students to opt for inoculation and the continuation of COVID-19 precautions by wearing masks, maintaining social distancing, and being vigilant with PCR testing. 

The second phase includes procedures related to those who live in dorms and university campus facilities. 

The third phase details how to deal with infections among students and others present on campus. 

The roadmap alongside the preparation for the new term has been taken into consideration at Al-Hussein Technical University (HTU).

“Today, for us, we can say that 100 percent of all of our staff have received two shots of the vaccine, and we can also say around 85 percent of all of our enrolled students have as well. And we are encouraging the remaining students to take the vaccine before we start the semester on October 17,” said professor Ismael Al-Hinti, president of HTU, in an interview with Jordan News.

The university’s precautions are based on the number of students enrolled, which is no more than 25 students per section. 

“The enthusiasm and the commitment that they (students) have is more than usual, and I think this is because they spent a year and a half online and did not get to attend in person,” said Hinti.

HTU has adopted a project-based learning approach. This means the emphasis is on practical assignments, projects, and presentations, instead of focusing solely on test-based learning. 

“Of course, the students were not in person, but there was a very good interaction. There was excellent communication,” which Hinti hopes raised the expectations of prospective and incoming students. 

“The students are aware of the system and the model we have at HTU, but of course, the on-campus experience is going to be different. We even did remedial classes for the workshops; students were over the moon to be back at the university.”

Hinti does acknowledge the challenges that students have endured with online classes but believes that the transition back into on-campus alongside the addition of hybrid learning will be smooth. 

The pandemic improved digitization, and due to the improvement, HTU launched new cyber security and data science and artificial intelligence programs. 

“Those two new programs basically created the biggest demand from students; we have filled all of the available seats in these two new programs,” shared Hinti. 

In Irbid at the Jordan University of Science and Technology, Saed Khamis, a third-year medical student, is optimistic about resuming in-person learning but raises the concern that the feeling of being back won’t be the same.
“Of course, I’m worried because with the fluctuating waves of COVID, anything can happen, but the least we can do is be optimistic and hope for the best,” he shared.

While the restrictions and protocols around the university will be challenging, “at least we will be able to live the remaining years of school as real students because these are the best years of our lives,” said Khamis. 

Leen Al-Omari, a second-year dental student, agrees with Saed; she states, “small things that were mundane a year and a half ago but are crucial at this time to be different. Things such as seating arrangements, our schedules, and the level at which masks will be enforced will all play a huge part in keeping the COVID-19 situation under control to make in-person learning safer for students and faculty.”

Both students are not worried about the possibility of another lockdown, as the threat of one is enough to keep students vigilant in following all rules and regulations. 

Professor Hinti at HTU also believes that the number of precautions and the regulations they have in place will be enough to curb a new wave among the university. 

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