COVID-19 updates
Home | Marketing | Update on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Changes to study delivery

Update on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Changes to study delivery

SM TAFE has been working in line with WA Government advice to limit the impact of COVID-19 on your studies.

With these considerations in mind, SM TAFE is pausing training and educational delivery starting Monday 30 March.

What you need to know about the temporary pause

During the temporary pause, our lecturers will be working to prepare for a transition to blended learning (a focus on online delivery) wherever possible.

Our aim is to recommence delivery primarily through blended learning at the start of Term 2 on Tuesday 28 April 2020. For some courses, where face-to-face delivery is required to meet training package requirements, we will look at a range of options including social distancing measures and, in some instances, rescheduling of components of the course.

There will be some exceptions to the pause. Courses that are already delivered online will continue as planned. In some areas where lecturers are trialling blended delivery, this may continue. A few courses, particularly in skills areas supporting essential services, may continue with some face-to-face delivery on campus.

If this applies to you, your lecturer will work directly with you to ensure you can continue your training and assessment. SM TAFE will be in contact with you, before your next scheduled class.

We will communicate with you further over the coming week with more details about your studies.

Student support

We will continue to provide the following support over the pause period:

  • Disability services
  • Aboriginal support
  • International support
  • Customer service support

Australian Government advice The Australian Government has provided a daily COVID-19 health alert including:

The Western Australian Government has also provided advice for your reference.

SM TAFE can be contacted on 1800 001 001 or info@smtafe.wa.edu.au.

Further information and assistance

 

Being on Campus (attendance, participation and health advice)

What is COVID-19?

Coronaviruses are a type of virus that can affect humans and animals. Some coronaviruses cause illnesses similar to the common cold and others cause more serious illnesses, including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). The current coronavirus originating in Hubei Province, China, is called ‘novel’ because it is new and had not been detected before this outbreak.

What does self-isolation mean?

From 1.30pm 24 March 2020, anyone arriving in Western Australia is required to self-isolate for 14 days.

This means students, staff, parents/carers, contractors, visitors and volunteers cannot attend TAFE for 14 days if they have returned from other Australian States and Territories or overseas.

Anyone who has been informed by public health authorities that they have been in close contact with a confirmed case of Coronovirus (COVID-19) must also isolate themselves for 14 days after the date of last contact with the confirmed case. 

During the 14 days of isolation, you must stay at home (or in your hotel if applicable) and don’t go to public places including work, school, childcare, university or public gatherings.  Only people who usually live with you should be in the home.  Do not see visitors.  If you are in a hotel, avoid contact with other guests or staff.

Please refer to the Australian Government Department of Health's guidelines for more information.

Is TAFE open?

South Metropolitan TAFE remains open. Essential services including student resource areas will be available for those that need access to PCs if they don’t have access at home. Social distancing and increased cleaning of these areas is in place. Some high priority courses, such as training in essential services, will continue. Your lecturer will give you specific information about arrangements for your course. On-line courses will also continue. Other support services on campus will still be available.

When will I find out what is happening in relation to my course?

There are a number of ways you will find out.

We will email or send a text to you.

Your lecturers will give you further specific information about arrangements for your course.

If students attend class on Monday lecturers will advise them of the new arrangements.

Are online courses continuing?

Yes, if you are currently doing your course online, this will continue.

Will I be disadvantaged or be required to pay more?

Students will be assisted to complete their course without extra cost.

How will I continue my practical training and job placements?

Options are being looked at such as rescheduling and restructuring courses, and simulated practical training where work placements are unavailable.

How can I access a PC to continue my training if I don’t have one at home or I have internet access problems?

Student learning centres will still be open with suitable social distance arrangements. Additional cleaning is occurring in these spaces.

My school student is enrolled for some courses at TAFE, should they attend classes next week?

If you are choosing to have your child stay at home, arrangements will be in place to ensure catch up training is provided. If your child is attending school, we will work with the school to make suitable arrangements.

I’m an employer and unsure about my apprentice’s training?

If training is scheduled during the pause period then you should contact us to discuss arrangements on 1800 001 001. In some cases scheduled training may continue.

Which courses will remain face-to-face?

All courses are expected to move in some way to a blended delivery which means that there will be a mix of online, interactive distant learning, and for some courses necessary face-to-face components. The best way to deliver the course will be assessed by lecturers in the period available up until the start of Term 2.

How is SM TAFE preventing the spread of COVID-19 in courses that continue face-to-face delivery?

Hygiene practices and social distancing is being practiced in accordance with the most current health advice. Lecturers are advising students to practice social distancing measure and are applying and monitoring social distancing during classes.

How will online learning work?

Your lecturer will advise you how your blended learning programme will be delivered.

What if students don’t have access to internet or internet access is minimal?

For those students with digital access problems, there will be access to some digital facilities at campuses to continue learning.

Will any student who is unable to access an online delivery method be disadvantaged or penalised?

No student will be penalised and we will work with students to identify solutions for their specific circumstance.

Will a student who is unable to attend face-to-face delivery classes for COVID-19 reasons be penalised?

No student will be penalised and we will work with students to identify solutions for their specific circumstance.

What support services exist for students?

While training delivery is paused, we remain open, so students who have any queries about their future studies should contact us.

How are we supporting lecturers and staff to deliver online?

The pause in training delivery is to enable lecturers to reframe courses to maximise distant learning to reduce virus transmission risk. Where it is not already in place, a blended delivery of training via online and other interactive modes will be introduced. Face-to-face delivery will still continue where necessary where adequate social distancing measures can be implemented. We will work with students that have particular problems with new modes of delivery.

What is the cleaning arrangement for SM TAFE colleges?

We have increased cleaning across all campuses.

How are we assisting international students?

International students will receive either a text or email to their student account about the pause in some TAFE activities.

They will also receive information from their lecturer about specific arrangements for their course. We will be structuring learning to ensure any course catch-up occurs.

As always, TAFE International is available to provide personal assistance to students who are unsure about any issue. Assistance is available by phone on 9218 2100 and by email on admissions.tiwa@dtwd.wa.gov.au.

Students in financial difficulties or needing to return home should also make contact with TAFE International.

Why are SM TAFE libraries remaining open when the Prime Minister ordered all libraries to be shut?

TAFE libraries will only be accessible to TAFE students and staff. They remain open to ensure PCs continue to be available for students who don’t have access to equipment or have poor connectivity. TAFE's have increased cleaning across all campuses and social distancing requirements are in place.

Will Jobs and Skills Centres still be open?

Yes.

What if my apprentice goes to TAFE and the course is paused – what support is there for me?

Employers will be contacted about arrangements for their employees and are welcome to approach their regular point of contact.

Page last updated March 30, 2020