All Teagasc colleges to reopen fully in next fortnight

Teagasc is working towards reopening all of its colleges between now and mid-September in line with national guidelines.

Speaking to AgriLand, head of education with Teagasc, Tony Pettit, said: “Teagasc has reviewed the national reopening guidelines for schools and for further and higher education institutions [regarding] Covid-19 prevention.

Each college has been working in recent months on preparing for the September reopening of colleges.

“All colleges will fully reopen between now and mid-September.”

Teagasc campuses include Ballyhaise, Kildalton, Clonakilty and Botanic Gardens and the private agricultural colleges at Gurteen, Mountbellew and Pallaskenry also follow the same Teagasc curriculum.

Implementing new measures

Teagasc says a number of new measures are being taken to ensure the safety and well-being of both learners and staff.

Key measures include:

  • Physical distancing of 2m;
  • Wearing of face coverings;
  • Provision of hand sanitisation facilities;
  • Covid signage and pedestrian flows.

Tony Pettit also says a “blended learning” model will operate involving “a combination of face-to-face delivery on-site and remote delivery”.

The actual ratio of face to remote will vary by individual circumstances at colleges.

“Face-to-face delivery will primarily be focused on skills instruction activities and practical elements of courses.”

Examinations

Teagasc says online assessments instead of written examinations will be used to a greater extent.

Student placement period schedules will operate to their normal schedules for the 2020/21 academic year.

“These arrangements are based on current Covid-19 guidelines and restrictions, and may have to change in the event that tighter restrictions prevail. In this event there will be a greater reliance on remote delivery,” says Pettit.

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