A watchword: adaptation
It is certain that for everyone there will be a before and after Covid-19. The Gembloutoise Faculty has not escaped the rule and has had to draw on everyone's resources to deal with this unprecedented crisis. The balance is positive: "the machine" has continued to run for the good of everyone and already the start of the new academic year in September 2020 is on the horizon... Dean Frédéric Francis and Mr. Nathanaël Fivet, the site manager, tell us how they perceive these delicate periods.
Perception of the Dean :
Before this month of March, we would never have imagined a confinement of staff and students at GxABT, let alone a halt to face-to-face classes and having to virtualize all the theoretical but also practical lessons. For example, in entomology, as in other courses, all the observation sessions in front of a binocular microscope have been replaced by remote controlled work based on photos taken and commented with identification criteria by the teaching team in place. What dynamism and solidarity for the common good. GxABT staff for all the adapted courses: what proactivity and efficiency!
It was then necessary to prepare, on the one hand, the maintenance of scientific and research potential, and on the other hand, the continuity of services, including administrative services, by minimizing contacts between people and optimizing expertise and skills at a distance. We all had to adapt as we learned how to communicate more quickly: very quickly, lifesize, collaborate, zoom, teams succeeded one another in addition to the conventional skype, whatsapp and messenger. What a good thing in e-communication for everyone. Travel between meetings has been reduced . On the face side, time savings and a positive ecological footprint - on the battery side, just-in-time flow and zero downtime. At the end of a meeting in progress, double click "Thank you all", "Hello everyone" and the next meeting starts again. From 8:00 am to 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm continuously in front of his computer screen with the succession of courses to be recorded, then exams to be designed and passed, drafting documents and meetings interspersed with 30 minutes of lunch at noon, this too was the "confinement" weeks. One conclusion: in all circumstances, we adapted to GxABT.
Perception of the site manager :
The containment related to this COVID-19 crisis was a shock to all of us and our company, both personally and professionally. Since then, the organization of our Faculty has evolved in line with the instructions of the authorities of our country and our University. We have taken our responsibilities and acted with pragmatism for the good of the university community of our Gembloux campus.
During the period of confinement, the life of our Faculty has continued to adapt mainly through distance learning and teleworking, while the activities on campus have almost come to a "standstill", which should not have happened very often in our more than 150 years of history.
The first 2 phases of deconfinement (from 4 May to 7 June) materialised in a very gradual and regulated return of staff to the campus. This return was conditioned by the application of very strict and restrictive measures to limit the spread of the virus as much as possible. We had to learn to work at a good distance from our colleagues, with a mask. The organisation of this return mobilised our Faculty staff enormously in order to create the best working conditions (information, equipment, space planning, etc.).
It is important to salute the involvement of the staff at all levels, both for the implementation of the measures and means necessary to guarantee the health and safety of all, and for the application of these measures.
The spread of the virus seems to be decreasing and therefore the 3rd phase of deconfinement started on 8 June. It is materialising in a greater return of staff to the campus (teleworking is still possible, but is no longer the rule). It is essential to remember that this is not a return to work under the same conditions as before and that this return must be reconciled with the application of the health and safety instructions still in force. We are counting on the involvement of everyone at this level.