By Mostafa Hetteh
As the COVID-19 pandemic worsens across Ontario, Seneca College has taken precautions.
One day after the government’s emergency step to shut down Ontario’s public elementary and secondary schools for two weeks after March break, Seneca College made the announcement on Friday, citing the health and safety of staff and students over the COVID-19 outbreak.
Seneca has decided to cancel all in-person classes across four campuses. Simultaneously, David Agnew, President of Seneca says, the college will be moving all classes to an online format March 23rd amid coronavirus concerns.
The statement went on to say the decision is effective starting on Monday16 March and will continue until the end of classes on April 3rd.
Many other universities and colleges across Canada, including the University of Toronto, York, Western, and Ryerson, have taken similar measures
Seneca College administration decided to take the following steps:
All in-person courses are postponed for next week from Monday, March 16th to 20th, to allow faculty members to work on transitioning as much academic programming as possible online.
This is an unprecedented change in the mid-term, and they will support all instructors with the resources and equipment needed to make the transition.
Existing online courses will continue as usual. All campuses will remain open – including libraries, computer commons, a health center, student spaces, food services and other service areas . Online classes for all students will start on Monday, March 23rd.
This extraordinary decision will be implemented for three weeks. Then, on Monday, April 6, the practical classes that demand in-person labs or studios will be open. This means that Seneca in-person will be closed: the weeks of March 16, March 23, and March 30.
Agnew says the goal is to provide a safe and healthy teaching and learning environment.
Agnew had previously put restrictions on all international travel by students for academic purposes and by employees for Seneca business. The college had also required any student, employee or contractor returning from a Level 3 country or region to not come to campus for 14 days as they undergo the mandatory period of self-isolation as directed by the Government of Canada.