“Creating Opportunities- Making Adaptation” RMUTT’s Concept for Fighting COVID-19 crisis
“Education” is one of the many sectors affected by COVID-19 crisis beside public health, finance, and any other sectors causing educational institutions to adjust their teaching and learning system as well as changing activity plan. However, despite having to face this difficult circumstance, Rajamangala University of Technology Thanyaburi or RMUTT still continued to develop new graduates and practitioners for the employment market taking young job seekers to the social wind of change.
Prof. Dr. Sommai Pivsa-Art, President of Rajamangala University of Technology (RMUTT), revealed that, “Although COVID-19 is currently affecting educational institutions, it does makes people more adaptive. Faculty of lecturers believe that having faced current crisis at the time would allow us to adapt so as to encounter something more critical in the future. Moreover, it would also be our great opportunity to change, not a hindrance. Therefore, all parties were working cooperatively and harmoniously. During the first phase of Covid-19 epidemic which coincided with the summer semester, RMUTT had cancelled all in-person classes and replaced with 500 online courses.
Moreover, various supporting measures had also been prescribed by RMUTT to facilitate students including active learning via the Internet while lecturers and university staffs had been assigned to work from home to prevent any risks from Covid-19. In case a request for the use of a university facility was proposed by students, safety control regulations would be used to the following cleaning, disinfecting, and hand hygiene considerations to help protect them. Distribution of face masks, spraying disinfectant as well as providing alcohol-based hand sanitizers were the examples. Additionally, RMUTT students who were currently living in off-campus housing had been helped through negotiation between private apartments and condos and university to cut the rent for students. In the beginning of Semester 1, RMUTT supporting measures were not totally effective particularly when students were largely unprepared for a sudden switch for online learning. With these challenges, however, university board of committees had decided to figure out and resolve these obstacles including providing students access to computers and the internet services. In a full effort to help students, the results revealed that students were definitely satisfied with the new proposed online learning, very enthusiastic to ask questions during these virtual classrooms, and making them more self-dependent and radically improved with their analyzing skills, more than just lecturing.
If, in case, the Thai government has announced the feasibility of Covid-19 rates continue to decrease, RMUTT will be ready to hold in-person classes under the university’s measures for the prevention of Covid-19. All students will be asked to return to their classes in September but student orientation will still be postponed.
RMUTT as an innovation university, had always been facilitating its students with practical classroom teaching that could help prepare them for their future career corresponding to the university slogan saying, “Practical learning with Successful Career”. With qualified and skilled innovators including technical abilities such as computer, AI and automation, as well as language talents, and entrepreneurial capabilities, these RMUTT scholars will be available to facilitate 80 percent of their students in terms of co-operative education that will help them get them ready for their future career while additional twenty percent would all be covered with other university’s joint for work programs. Moreover, university will also be offering their non-degree online courses and also took part in digital credit bank system in order to help student fulfill both their needs of education and provide opportunities to earn academic qualifications including academic degrees including Bachelor’s, Master’s, Ph.D. and certificates.
To conclude, it could be said that RMUTT is the university that is aspiring to produce qualified innovators for Thailand as well as seeing the importance of human resource management in all dimensions that could directly and positively affect of producing students to enter into the industrial workforce.