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Online classes set to return to in-person at NAIT

NAIT campus

By Adel Ahmed

With reading week quickly approaching, NAIT students may be facing a change in course delivery when they return. 

In the COVID-19 update on February 14th, NAIT announced that “most theory and lecture classes that were originally scheduled on campus will return to in-person learning as planned.” This means that if a course was originally planned for in-person at the beginning of the winter term, students will likely return to campus starting February 28th. Students should keep an eye on their inbox, as programs will be confirming course delivery with students later this week. 

Additionally, NAIT will be removing its vaccine policy effective February 28th, meaning students and staff will no longer be required to show their proof of vaccination to be on campus. Students and staff will be required to continue wearing their masks when on campus. 

These changes come after the Alberta government announced two major updates to the COVID-19 public health measures: the end of the Restrictions Exemption Program starting February 8th, and the removal of masking requirements for children and youth in schools for any age starting February 14th. 

While some may be looking forward to returning in person, others are worried about the timeline for instituting these changes. The Alberta Students’ Executive Council (ASEC), an organization that represents the interests of post-secondary students across Alberta, issued a press release to call for “healthy and safe campuses.”  

“A proper back-to-campus plan should be tailored to each institution, [and] include significant meaningful consultation with the students’ association to ensure the needs of students are being heard,” said Jonathan Bilodeau, ASEC executive director. 

Some NAIT students also have similar feelings towards the sudden changes.

“It seems a bit abrupt for restrictions to up and poof so soon,” said NAIT Radio & Television student Angela Kazmierczak. 

“I’m relieved that masks will be mandatory while on campus at NAIT, but I’m also dreading the fact that we still have to wear them. It’s bittersweet”.

The past two years have been difficult for students, instructors, and institutions, ASEC notes. But the organization maintains that students continue to be impacted by these changes.  “We appreciate the challenges and efforts faced by everyone trying to cope during the pandemic. However, the students of this province have borne the brunt of the damage and continue to do so,” said Liam Hunter, ASEC chair. 

Despite the removal of vaccine requirements and the move to return to in-person learning, NAIT maintains that they “continue to prioritize the health and safety of the NAIT community.” They encourage students and staff to “be kind and understanding with one another as we transition through this next phase of the pandemic,” and provide a list of mental health supports for community members that may require assistance. 

To read the NAIT’s full COVID-19 update and learn more about the return to campus, visit  NAIT’s website. 

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