Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) has started to adopt de-escalation measures, in line with the Brunei Government’s plans to ease public health restrictions in the country.
Since May 28, UBD staff and students have been required to scan the BruHealth QR code upon entering and exiting the campus buildings, where temperature checks are already in place.
The QR codes are specific to each building on the UBD campus. “This exercise is necessary, in order to facilitate contact tracing,” said Acting Registrar and Secretary of UBD Hajah Joanna binti Haji Yacob.
“With the interdisciplinary nature of our educational and research programmes, we have a constant traffic of people crossing the different faculties, institutes and centres.
“We will be de-escalating in phases, and follow the Ministry of Health’s advice and guidelines closely. UBD will be making the necessary preparations to ensure the safety of its community.”
UBD has been employing full online teaching since March 12, three days after the first COVID-19 case was reported in Brunei Darussalam.
From June 2, UBD will begin allowing all practical and laboratory sessions on campus. With undergraduates having already completed their classes, these sessions would be more relevant to graduate students and researchers.
However, the sessions are not to exceed 30 per cent of the room’s maximum capacity, the current requirement in place.
The UBD Library will also continue to operate as per its current schedule, along with online and limited on-site services. The number of visitors allowed inside must not exceed 30 per cent of the library’s capacity.
UBD is also currently reviewing its online teaching.
“Alhamdulillah, we have blended teaching with components of face-to-face and online teachings for several years,” said UBD Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Academic Affairs) Pengiran Dr Mohammad Iskandar bin Pengiran Haji Petra.
“What we are looking into at present is a more structured, as well as effective and innovative way, to provide our students with the intended learning experience in meeting our learning outcomes.
He added, “We foresee that there will be new norms in education, post-COVID-19.”
Further de-escalation measures will depend on the COVID-19 situation in Brunei Darussalam, and UBD will continue to notify its staff and students on further developments.