The Vice Chancellor’s Message – May 7, 2020
Dear members of staff and students
I convey my best wishes to everyone and their families on this 52nd day of learning and working from our homes. I am hopeful that everyone remains in the best of health, and are coping well with the COVID19 related changes that have occurred to our daily living.
To the students, I am thankful to each and every one of you for having complied with the university’s request to access on line teaching-learning, despite the technical challenges faced by some with access to internet and out of pocket cost for data that has been hopefully minimized by the supportive action adopted by the UGC and LEARN. Additionally, adjustment to the concept of online learning required our own members of staff to be re-orientated, trained and supported by our own leads in online education, ITC, and network operation with administrative changes that are still being put in place. The University of Colombo is proud to be number one in the data records of on-line learning.
However, we are well aware that many students face multiple problems. Please be assured that your teachers in conjunction with the Welfare Branch of College House along with the Student Counselors and Hostel Wardens have traced students who are facing problems and are working out methods to help overcome these. Many approaches are being adopted, such as WhatsApp groups and even individual telephone calls to you or your home numbers. Please be assured that the UoC will make certain that ‘no student will be left behind’. Academic schedules and examinations in parallel with a phased-out plan to restart face to face teaching, are also being reviewed to ensure equity and fairness. I salute all staff members who have given of their time to help the administration in handling this complex process.
Meanwhile, although the curfew is being relaxed in the Western Province, the university staff has been instructed to attend work in practicable numbers with the adoption of maximum health and safety precautions as per government guidelines. Therefore, the students will have to continue learning and functioning from your own homes. In addition, some of the university hostels are yet being used for quarantine purposes. We are also aware that private boarding owners have made unreasonable requests from our students. We shall highlight these issues to the higher authorities and try to find ‘healthy’ solutions.
In parallel, the welfare branch through the student counsellors, will address the wellbeing of all our students through a holistic approach. Please respond to these offers and make sure you remain healthy in body and mind.
I wish everyone Happy and Peaceful home-based Vesak and Ramadan seasons, and all others in their chosen faiths.