Work From Home and Virtual Teaching Directive
To: All University Staff and Students
From: Vice Chancellor
Subject: Work From Home and Virtual Teaching Directive
The world, as we knew it came to an abrupt halt in early 2020, and governments, informed by science, had to enforce drastic measures to save lives. The year 2020 and 2021 brought unprecedented changes to the global economy and the world of work. On the 11th of March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) characterized the novel coronavirus outbreak as a pandemic, and urged governments around the world to take matters seriously and prepare for the first wave of the public health emergency with several drastic measures, one of which was the nationwide lockdowns in many countries. As the lockdowns or stay at-home measures entered into force, a large proportion of the workforce was instructed to stay home and continue to work remotely – if their functions make it possible.
The following everyday preventative actions are useful:
a) Avoid close contact with people who are sick
b) Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
c) Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash
d) Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a household cleaning spray or wipe
e) Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
Employees that have symptoms of acute respiratory illness (fever, cough, or shortness of breath) are recommended to stay home and not come to work until they are fever free for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing medicines. However, employees should notify their supervisors if they are sick and will be staying home.
Undoubtedly, we have entered the most unusual working arrangement of this generation.
Arising from the special senate meeting held today the 13.8.2021, the following observations, resolutions and agreements were made:
1. The University hospital is recording many respiratory related complications from students and staff.
2. Staff seeking treatment elsewhere have experienced respiratory complications.
3. Some staff have been diagnosed Covid -19 positive.
4. A number of University staff are currently either in hospital or in quarantine.
5. The University is losing staff and our relatives.
6. Most of the lecturers are through with course work for the semester.
7. Students are revising for exams.
8. It is observed that many students do not adhere to the Covid-19 protocols.
9. There has been a stubborn flu among students in last about three weeks.
10. Nchiiru Market is congested with students.
Noted: Congestion is due to limited housing facilities around the University.
11. Students and staff feel insecure under the circumstances.
Arising from the above observations, the following resolutions are made.
1. The University will make arrangements with the County Government of Meru to ensure that MUST is listed as a vaccination center.
2. All staff must be immunized by 23rd August 2021, this is in line with the GoK circular ref no. OP/CAB.1/12A.
3. All students are required to seek immunization.
4. Lecturers must ensure that all students are masked during physical meetings.
5. The University will fumigate all the work spaces during this period of physical absence.
6. That moving forward, the University be fumigated at least twice a week.
7. Physical teaching is suspended for two weeks with effect from 16.8.2021.
8. Teaching will continue virtually and all students be requested to register on LMS.
9. Blended learning be encouraged with effect from September 2021. All part timers be involved.
10. Lecturers are advised to ensure quality in the delivery of the blended learning. To this end proper sensitization be carried out.
11. Decongestion of students with effect from September 2021 is required. The Academic and Student affairs division to take appropriate action.
12. The student’s handbook be circulated accordingly.
13. Sporting and academic trips be minimized.
14. All students participating in sporting activities must show evidence of Covid -19 vaccination.
15. All the sign-in registers at the reception desks are suspended until further notice.
16. That the Security Officer in charge ensures that office key movement is not a risk to staff.
17. Thermo-guns be calibrated accordingly.
18. That all staff and students are required to strictly adhere to the WHO protocols.
19. No physical meetings in the university. All meetings to be virtual.
a) All staff are required to work from home with effect from 16.8.2021.
b) Physical presence at work resumes on 26th August 2021 unless otherwise advised.
c) All HoDs/CoDs/Deans/Directors take responsibility of staff while we work from home.
d) Essential staff to include the Vice Chancellor’s office, ICT, Farm, Procurement, Security, Catering, Halls and Accommodation, Registry and Hospital staff will be on duty but in strict adherence to WHO protocols.
All employees are requested to set up a work station in their homes as they can be called upon anytime to work. The approved management duty rota for the semester will remain in force during this period. In the meantime, we encourage everyone to reduce chances of exposure to infection by observing cautionary measures communicated from credible sources.