Kurdistan universities consider online courses amid coronavirus lockdown
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Region's Salahaddin University is taking steps to move studies online for the remainder of the winter semester, the head of the institution said on Saturday.
"The option is being considered, and the Ministry of Higher Education will discuss the suggestion and decide on it in the next few days," Salahaddin University President Jawhar Rwanduzy told the official Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) news website.
Rwanduzy explained that authorities are working to ensure "the rest of the study year is conducted through online classes."
The official's statement comes amid a region-wide total lockdown and curfew the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) imposed last week to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus,
Other measures aimed at containing a regional outbreak include declaring extended public holidays for government workers, canceling all religious services, and temporarily closing schools and universities, even as new cases are discovered in more cities and towns.
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"All universities will be participating in a meeting to consider the possibility of online classes, and if the university suspension is to be extended, we will push for online classes," Rwanduzy added.
Rwanduzy pointed out that, under the current circumstances, online schooling is the best option, and given that there is only about one month of the school year remaining, students will be able to finish the rest of the study year "without any shortcomings."
The Kurdistan Region's Health Ministry has so far confirmed a total of 48 coronavirus cases, including one dead and 13 fully who have recovered.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the disease a global pandemic, with the total number of infections topping the milestone of 300,000 on Saturday. Just under 13,000 people have passed away due to contracting the virus.
Editing by Kosar Nawzad and John J. Catherine