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American colleges may not re-open campus until 2021

By KERRY TINGA

BU

Boston University (BU) appears to be the first American college or university to announce that it may postpone its fall term, the first term of the School Year 2020/2021, to January 2021 given the Covid-19 pandemic.

On their official website, BU stated, “The Recovery Plan recognizes that if, in the unlikely event that public health officials deem it unsafe to open in the fall of 2020, then the University’s contingency plan envisions the need to consider a later in-person return, perhaps in January 2021.”

Although described as an “unlikely event,” it is significant that not only is a major university discussing the possibility of postponing an entire semester, but that discussions have reached a point that the administration felt it necessary to publicly announce that a nine-month postponement is on the table. BU has already moved their all spring semester classes online, like many other higher education institutions around the world, and have announced that in-person summer classes have been canceled.

Only time will tell whether other colleges and universities around the world will consider postponing the beginning of the next school year, many are still trying to deal with the disruption to the current school year that has yet to officially end. The announcement of BU, however, goes to show that the biggest questions for the education sector may still lie ahead.

What will happen after the enhanced community quarantine is lifted? How has education changed and how can it adapt to our new normal post-Covid-19?

“For reasons of public health, the economy, or any number of other factors, this is not going to be as simple as flipping a switch and getting back to business as usual,” said BU President Robert A. Brown. “This is going to take time, and it will take time to plan. Starting that planning now is the right thing to do, and it is a necessity.”

In the Philippines, the Commission of Higher Education (CHED) announced on April 14 that it will be permitting higher education institutes (HEIs) to finish the current semester on April 30, coinciding with the scheduled end of the extension of the enhanced community quarantine. There have been no official announcements by CHED or any HEI regarding the upcoming school year.


Source: Manila Bulletin (https://lifestyle.mb.com.ph/2020/04/21/american-colleges-may-not-re-open-campus-until-2021/)

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