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Tuesday, July 5, 2022

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Dominican universities follow a three phase plan for class returns

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The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology (Mescyt), Franklin García Fermín, and the heads of the universities and higher education institutions reached a consensus for a blended return of classes.

During a meeting, led by García Fermín and the presidents of the entities evaluated returning to the classrooms under three phases to prevent the spread of the virus.

The first phase is scheduled for April 6th and includes subjects with laboratories and service areas, libraries, research institutes, special exams, tutorials, thesis defense, and postgraduate programs.

Meanwhile, phase 2 will begin on May 4th, with teaching practices, theoretical subjects, hospital rotations, and community practices.

The third and last phase of the return contemplates a hybrid-blended system, according to the health evolution of the country at that time.

The discussion with the presidents of the universities was held in the Eduardo Latorre Room of the Institute of Higher Education Specialized in Training and Consular, behind closed doors, where García Fermín listened to the concerns about virtuality and presence in the academies.

Also, García Fermín created a commission that he presides over and of which José Alejandro Aybar, president of the Dominican Association of Universities (ADOU); the vice president of the Dominican Association of University Rectors (ADRU), José Hazim Torres; the president of the Association of Universities of the Dominican Republic (AURED), Ricardo Winter and the vice minister of Mescyt, Carmen Evarista Matías.

This commission aims to deal with the proposals on the return to blended teaching, with the purpose of deciding according to the context that is reflected in the country’s health system, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

García Fermín expressed that he will present the concerns of the rectors to the Ministry of Public Health, with whom he will meet to present the requests made in the coming days.

“We have to comply with the protocol of meeting with the Minister of Public Health, as responsible for the health of the country, we have to make our decision and also consult them”, he said.

The official commented that one cannot lose sight of the fact that the country has been facing a phenomenon of complex proportions for a year, in which the system of face-to-face classes has been closed.

He considered that the situation should be observed and that the vaccination process continues to advance.

“The decisions, for us, as the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology, will always be very important to listen to him and make him part of the decisions, as actors of the system”, he said.

The Vice Ministers of Mescyt, José A. Cancel, Genaro Rodríguez Martínez, María López Polanco, Carlos Mendieta; the special advisor, Julio Altagracia; the director of the Cabinet, Juan F. Medina; the rector of the Institute of Higher Education Specialized in Training and Consular, José Rafael Espaillat, among others.

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