Universities urged to move classes online until May

Universities urged to move classes online until May

An official sprays disinfectant in a classroom at Ramkhamhaeng University in Bangkok last week. (Photo: Nutthawat Wicheanbut)
An official sprays disinfectant in a classroom at Ramkhamhaeng University in Bangkok last week. (Photo: Nutthawat Wicheanbut)

The Council of University Faculty Senate of Thailand (CUFST) on Sunday asked all universities to move their courses online in an effort to curb the spread of Covid-19.

CUFST has asked all higher education outlets to utilise online platforms to run their courses and carry out administrative functions, in light of the rising number of Covid-19 cases.

The council urged both state and private universities which have campuses across the country -- such as Rajabhat Universities and Rajamangala University of Technology -- to quickly migrate their classes online. The council also advised higher education institutions to instruct their staff to work from home until the end of May.

In its statement, the council asked executives of higher education institutions to allow administrative staff and lecturers to work from home and conduct online meetings if needed, to reduce the risk of contagion through close contact.

"Higher institutes are perceived as social opinion leaders," the council said. "As such, we need to live up to that standard by setting a good precedent and by remaining cooperative with the government, to help control the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic."

While several universities have announced their intention to shift their courses online in recent weeks, CUFST said the number of classes which have actually moved to online learning platforms remain "limited".

"Epidemiology clearly tells us that viruses can easily be transmitted through the atmosphere in areas where there is a high level of physical contact and social interaction," it read. "Online learning will nip this problem in the bud." It is not known how easily universities will be able to migrate courses online, though to some extent students are already able to gain access to recordings of courses.


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