The exam season is just around the corner, but there has been a lot going on so we thought you might need a bit of a roundup! We are going to be detailing some of the recent announcements that have been made in regards to public health and post-secondary in British Columbia.
On March 29, the Provincial Health Office and Dr. Bonnie Henry announced a series of new restrictions that are to be implemented over the next three weeks. We have detailed them here:
Between March 29 and April 19 the following restrictions are in place province-wide:
- Indoor low intensity group exercise classes are cancelled
- Restaurants, pubs and bars are closed for indoor dining. Outdoor patio dining and take-out or delivery is still permitted
- The Whistler Blackcomb ski resort is closed
In addition to the orders, the PHO strongly recommends:
- Working from home whenever possible, unless it is essential to be in the workplace
- Staying home if you feel sick or have any sign of illness
- Getting testing immediately if you or anyone in your family show symptoms
- Avoiding all non-essential travel
B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan happens in four phases; we are currently in Phase 2. Eligibility for all phases is based on the age you are turning in 2021.
During the next phase, slated to begin in April, people aged 60-79 will be eligible for the vaccine. The vaccine will also be available for any Indigenous, Métis, and Inuit peoples between the age of 18-64.
Phase 4 will see the vaccine become available to the remaining age groups; those between the ages of 18 – 40 are expected to be vaccinated in June.
Some frontline workers, such as first responders, grocery store workers, postal workers, and manufacturing workers can receive their vaccine. Those vaccines are being organised with employers so you should be informed as vaccines become available.
Please visit the BC Covid-19 Immunization Plan for more information as this may change at any time.
Back to Campus
As many of you have heard, Dr. Bonnie Henry, advised that Colleges and Universities be prepared for a full return to on-campus education this September.
We know this is equal parts exciting and stressful for most of us. Many of us have struggled to be successful in online learning environments, while managing all the health, safety, and economic realities of this pandemic.
The BC Federation of Students, along with other stakeholders, will be a part of a consultation process to create the new Go-Forward Guidelines to ensure all student concerns are addressed. We encourage anyone with concerns you’d like us to bring forward to email us or reach out to us on social media!
We are committed to advocating for a safe return to campus so that our Fall 2021 semester is a positive experience for the entire post-secondary system.
Indigenous Language Learning
For the first time, students will be able to receive a new bachelor’s degree of Nsyilxcn language fluency offered by UBC Okanagan (UBCO), in partnership with the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT) and the En’owkin Centre in Penticton. This will be the first bachelor’s degree of its kind in British Columbia. It will boost the number of fluent Nsyilxcn speakers at a time when Indigenous languages in B.C. are critically endangered.
Graduates can then continue their learning and work in education, social services, culture, tourism and resource-management positions. The degree is intended to help sustain and revitalize Nsyilxcn language traditions, restore language competence and protect the knowledge of Indigenous communities.
Scholarships for Grad Students
The Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training announced $3.75 million to support scholarships for students in graduate degree programs at 10 public post-secondary institutions. The investment will support 250 awards with a minimum of $15,000 each over the next two years. More information can be found here.
A total investment of $4 million has enabled 15 public post-secondary institutions to provide short-duration micro credentials for more than 2,000 British Columbians who need to reskill or upskill, so they can take advantage of opportunities in high-demand sectors. These will be especially helpful for those individuals whose employment has been impacted by COVID-19.
Micro credentials represent an opportunity for learners to access post-secondary education or to enhance their recognized education and skills. Many micro credentials will be credited or recognized as a launching pad toward completion of longer programs. Over time, micro credentials could become “stackable.” This means learners may have the opportunity to combine individual micro credentials to earn full credentials, such as certificates and diplomas. For more information on micro credentials click here.
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