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THE PROFESSIONAL AND INDUSTRIAL VOICE OF QUEENSLAND’S TEACHERS AND SCHOOL LEADERS IN STATE SCHOOLS AND TAFE FOR MORE THAN 130 YEARS.

COVID-19 - CQU

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is causing considerable anxiety among QTU members.

The QTU has been meeting with CQU leadership to be briefed on developments and to work on solutions to emerging issues. These emerging issues include a range of concerns raised by members in circumstances such as the unique challenges of Queensland's only dual sector university, the immediate needs of the community for skilled tradespeople and directly supporting members with specific professional, personal and family situations. 

The QTU TAFE Organiser and QTU President continue to be involved in regular discussions with CQU at the Vice-Chancellor level and have established a schedule of video meetings with CQU.

We will continue to advise members of the outcomes of these discussions as the situation progresses.

14 May: VETiS advice

27 Mar 2020 : Face-to-face delivery of VET on campus

Advice received from CQU Pro Vice-Chancellor regarding an information session held on 27 March 2020:

"CQUniversity has made the decision to pause all face to face on campus delivery up until Monday 20th April 2020. We will review this decision on the 14th April 2020. However, there are some instances where we are planning to complete training where they are essential. These will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

As promised, we have recorded this session please click the link provided to view and listen to the session through Google Drive . You will just need to login in using your CQUniversity email address, verify your account, and download the file. It doesn’t take too long – less than 2 minutes, however please give me a call if you are having any difficulties with this.

I have also attached a complete list of all questions and, where possible, answers to those questions raised. Some of the questions raised are still being investigated and you will see this clearly in the linked document. "

 

For your information : A copy of letters sent to employers and students on the VET delivery training pause.

CQU Working from Home, Self Isolation and Leave FAQS (25 March)

Staff portal link - requires CQU login:

https://staffnet.cqu.edu.au/our-uni/departments/pac/Pages/COVID-19-.aspx

Document as PDF as at 25 March 2020

 

Information for CQU (VET) members from CQU Vice-Chancellor (18 March)

Subject: [College-of-trades] Update on VC's directive for College of Trades staff
Importance: High

IMPORTANT, PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

Dear College of Trades colleagues,

By now you will have heard about, or seen Nick’s email that the decision has been made to transition all CQUniversity student learning to online only via Moodle, from March 23 until the end of Term 1 (which is 5 June 2020). 

You may also have noticed that Nick included this line in his advice: “For some units, the transition to online is problematic, especially practical units where on-campus attendance is required. We will work individually with those units to find a response that least disrupts our students.”

My advice to Nick and Helen, to date, has been not to close off apprentice blocks and VETiS on-campus delivery, at this stage, and to instead continue offering VETiS and apprentice block training until circumstances dictate we can no longer do this.

This advice is on the basis that these are mainly based on practical learning activities, and therefore online delivery will not be an automatic solution. Additionally, Secondary Schools have not closed.

 

FOR THE ABSENCE OF DOUBT, THIS ADVICE HAS BEEN ACCEPTED.

 

What does this mean for you?

 

For apprentice blocks scheduled for 23 March onwards

  1. Right now, we are not stopping apprentice blocks as of 23 March 2020. This decision is made on the basis of:
    1. Continuing to support apprentices and their employers as much as we can, while we can
    2. Risk assessment being that practical training can continue while practising hygiene and social distancing
    3. No current direction to do this on health grounds.
  2. We will be reviewing this decision on a daily basis. The situation remains fluid and it is subject to change at any time. This means you need to be prepared.
  3. We will act immediately to update this advice when and if directives from health authorities or the University changes.
  4. Wherever possible we will develop alternative study options for apprentices (e.g. transition theory online, consider flexible assessment practices in partnership with employers) but we also acknowledge that we will need to implement catch-up options once any possible Coronavirus “shut-downs” are behind us. My office is working with your QCs to develop the above options.
  5. Claude and I are also working with Kylie’s area/VIOs to ensure that the above messages go out to apprentices and their employers AND that we update them regularly on the situation.

 

For VETiS groups studying on our campus scheduled for 23 March onwards

  1. Right now we are not stopping VEtiS training, on our premises, as of 23 March 2020. This decision is made on the basis of:
    1. Continuing to support schools and their students, particularly Year 12 students, as much as we can, while we can
    2. Schools have not shut. There is no current direction to do this on health grounds
    3. Risk assessment being that practical training can continue while practising hygiene and social distancing
  2. We will be reviewing this decision on a daily basis. The situation remains fluid and it is subject to change at any time. This means you need to be prepared.
  3. We will act immediately to update this advice when and if directives from health authorities or the University changes.
  4. Wherever possible we will develop alternative study options for VETiS students (online/theory) but we also acknowledge that we will need to implement catch-up options once any possible Coronavirus “shut-downs” are behind us. One possibility could be running additional training in school holiday periods. My office is working with VET Managers to collate your School’s options.

The University is developing a list of FAQs and will make this available to you as soon as possible. We are following up with QCs as to what support they and you may need to help transition to a more distance learning future  - WHERE this is possible

Teressa Schmidt is a point of contact for you, for this. Please know that student support remains available, and the ALC continue to be available.

We are working hard so that disruption to student learning is minimised.

Other important information:

  • We need to practise safe and healthy guidelines. Distance between us, and us and students, washing of hands, etc. https://www.cqu.edu.au/cquninews/coronavirus-advice
  • Campuses remain open in terms of library and other services. Staff will still attend work.
  • Sessional staff will continue to be paid, even if they do not have to come to campus. If this advice changes, sessionals will be advised.
  • International students:
    • If the student can transition to online with their unit, they will do so. Attendance requirements are waived this term. QCs and teachers are encouraged to provide additional support.
    • International students will be advised to be mindful of student load when studying online but the general guideline will be a HALF STUDY LOAD. Student load requirements are waived this term.
    • If the student cannot transition to online, they will be contacted individually by the International team. QCs Coordinators will be advised, and alternative study (such as preparatory study) will be offered to the student.
  • Self-isolation (with no illness) does not exempt students or staff from supporting students
  • Extensions. These are stressful and unprecedented times. QCs will work with the PVC VET and Claude to plan for eventualities if/when we need to stop FTF classes.
  • Additional information for teaching staff, including Unit Coordinators and QCs.
    • If you need help converting to online, or ensuring your Moodle site is mobile-readable - LDI is available
    • Guides and FAQs are being developed
    • Zoom classes - stick with cohorts and timetabling if that helps. 
    • Additional videos and zooms are not required unless you feel it is necessary.
    • Extensions can be awarded without the strict requirement of a doctor’s certificate. These are exceptional and stressful times, and leniency is understandable. Please ensure that all decisions are equitable, and do not disadvantage student progression. Standard policy requirements still apply - extensions must be applied for through Moodle, and there must be grounds. Longer extensions (more than 14 days) still require approval.
    • Self isolation - if a student chooses to self-isolate, and they are not sick, it is expected they can continue to study.
    • Student illness. If a student is sick, they are sick. Sensible requirements apply. Of course an extension can be provided, without a medical certificate in reasonable circumstances. In exceptional circumstances, assessment can be modified. This will be up to the QCs on a case-by-case basis. As a last resort, the student can withdraw without academic penalty - this will be assessed individually by the DDLT as usual.

Most importantly, please look after yourselves as we enter this uncharted territory! Questions welcome.

Peter

Mr Peter Heilbuth

Pro Vice-Chancellor, VET Operations and Growth

CQU Information page on COVID-19

Link to CQU information page on COVID-19

https://www.cqu.edu.au/cquninews/coronavirus-advice



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