LJMU cancels face-to-face classes at uni

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Liverpool Screen School students at LJMU Redmonds Building. Pic by Vaiva Gedvilaite © JMU Journalism

With fears growing over the coronavirus public health crisis, Liverpool John Moores University has announced that all face-to-face teaching has been cancelled for the rest of this semester.

This follows a similar decision by the University of Liverpool on Saturday, with LJMU Vice-Chancellor, Ian Campbell, contacting students and staff via email on Sunday to explain the move to an online teaching strategy to finish the academic year.

Professor Campbell, who took over the top role at LJMU in October 2019, said as part of his message: “As you know, coronavirus continues to move at pace and like everybody else I am extremely concerned by this situation.

“As a result, we have made the decision to stop all face-to-face teaching for the rest of this semester with immediate effect. At this time our buildings will remain open and we will continue to operate all of our student services.

“Our number one priority is you – we have put in place measures to help you progress and complete your studies, where possible, through Canvas.”

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Elsewhere, union leaders are set to meet the Government’s Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, to discuss the impact of schools and colleges being closed and exams possibly being postponed.

Across the nation and far beyond, the coronavirus scare has caused widespread chaos, with countries such as Italy and Spain going into lockdown, food shortages as a result of panic-buying, and large sectors of the UK workforce asked to consider operating from home.

Next month’s Grand National at Aintree has now been called off, with sporting and theatre events among many aspects of society being affected.

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson. Pic © JMU Journalism

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson has urged the council to ramp up its response to the COVID-19 emergency, calling for an army of volunteers to help out those who are most vulnerable.

He said: “This city will expect us all to play our part and to work together to get through this coming crisis. We must not let them down.

“Co-ordinating a response that helps with clear messages about what we can do is essential and also leading and uniting volunteers and groups to work alongside us is what we should be setting out to achieve.”

Two telephone hotlines are being set up, with one for people to call if they are in a position to help out and the other reserved for locals, especially the elderly, to contact if they require assistance and help.

There have been no reported fatalities in Merseyside as a result of coronavirus at this time, but the UK death toll rose to 35 on Sunday, with six cases of people suffering with COVID-19 in Liverpool and five on the Wirral.

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