NVIT looking forward to welcoming back students

·2 min read

Earlier in March of this year, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced that post-secondary students could expect a return to in-person classes when the new school year begins in the fall.

Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT) is looking forward to welcoming students back to their Eagles’ Perch campus and resuming a class schedule which will allow students to interact with their peers and instructors face-to-face.

“This year has been incredibly hard, and I’ve heard from many students, faculty and staff who are eager to return to campus when it is safe,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training.

“That’s why I’m encouraged by Dr. Henry’s advice that a return to in-person instruction can be done safely this fall for all students, staff and faculty. In fact, it’s important to do so for people’s well-being.”

The Go Forward Guidelines that were implemented last year and helped to facilitate the hybrid learning model currently employed by many post-secondary institutions around the province, will be reviewed and updated in order to help keep students and staff safe.

“The guidelines will provide high-level guidance to post-secondary institutions for a safe resumption of on-campus learning,” said Kang.

“Institutions will then work with their local medical health officer and WorkSafeBC to develop more detailed safety plans for each institution.”

NVIT had originally employed a hybrid learning model when the COVID-19 pandemic began, but transitioned to strictly online learning when the second wave hit BC. The institution relies on the involvement of several local First Nations elders who are considered high risk, and was motivated to keep them safe by implementing an online only platform.

The Provincial Health Office has indicated that vaccine supply will be sufficient for every eligible person who wishes to will be vaccinated by mid-summer, thus making a return to campuses safe.

NVIT’s Leadership Team will be updating the school’s COVID-19 Safety Plan, in accordance with the latest Go Forward Guidelines.

“It is important to stress that our NVIT students’ and staff's health and well-being are our priority,” reads a press release from the college.

“With our COVID Protocols and Safety Plan in place, we can confirm that the NVIT will be returning to face-to-face classes for this fall semester, September 2021.”

“It has been a challenging year for post-secondary students, faculty and staff,” said Kang.

“I would like to acknowledge the significant efforts public colleges and universities made to continue meeting the needs of students during the pandemic, while successfully preventing the spread of COVID-19 on B.C. campuses. While we update the guidelines to ensure on-campus safety, I encourage students and families to start planning for in-person instruction on a campus of their choice in September.”

Morgan Hampton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Merritt Herald