By LEANDRA ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
The Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute (BAMSI) announced on Friday that classes for its upcoming semester will be held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a press statement released on Friday afternoon, officials said the decision was made due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases and its continuous impact in The Bahamas.
As of Thursday, a total of 508 COVID-19 cases were recorded in the country, with three additional COVID-19 deaths.
“With the effects of the outbreak being felt each day, we have determined that the fall 2020 semester will be done 100 per cent online, in a virtual platform.” said BAMSI’s board chairman, Stephen Turnquest.
“After monitoring the situation very closely, it was abundantly clear that every precaution had to be taken to keep the BAMSI community safe. The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff are top priority and our thoughts are with those impacted by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic.”
According to BAMSI, the institution’s transition to an e-learning system is a part of its ongoing efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19 virus.
In view of these new changes, executive director of BAMSI’s academic arm, Dr Raveenia Roberts-Hannah, called for parents, students and staff “to remain flexible” in the midst of this rapidly evolving situation.
“We ask that everyone remain flexible, adopting new norms, as the situation evolves and more information and direction from the government officials and public health agencies become available,” she said.
She also reaffirmed BASMI’s commitment to providing the highest level of education to all students.
She added: “Be assured that during this very fluid time, we remain committed to providing the highest quality education, preserving the integrity of our programs, while securing the health and safety of our students and employees.”
BAMSI said new student orientation will now begin on Wednesday, August 19, while advisement and registration is scheduled to start Friday, August 21.
Classes will subsequently commence on August 31.
For more information on the upcoming semester, people are asked to visit the institute’s website at www.bamsibahamas.edu.bs