Temple University, Japan Campus (TUJ) has resumed around 20% of all face-to-face classes on campus for the fall semester, which started from August 31.
One of the safety precautions TUJ adopted to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 was the move of all classes online from the early date of March 2 in spring semester and continuing through the summer semester. In fall semester most classes are purely online. However, starting in fall, as part of the gradual lifting of campus restrictions, some classes including art courses and physical workshops are being conducted face-to-face. Also being introduced fall semester are hybrid classes combining face-to-face and online interactions.
All people entering the TUJ campus are required to undergo the following at the main gate: (1) a temperature check; (2) hand sanitization with alcohol; (3) ensure that they are wearing a mask or face shield; (4) cooperate with record-keeping efforts by registering their student or staff ID numbers (or by visitors providing their name). Precautions have been adopted to prevent the spread of COVID-19. To ensure proper social distancing, the number of tables, chairs and desks in shared facilities such as classrooms and a cafeteria have been limited. Also, alcohol disinfectants are available at various locations. Student patrols are also on hand to ensure that all people comply with the campus protocol that has been implemented.
In summer, face-to-face classes were held for the intensive summer English programs for elementary, middle, and high school students under the Academic English Program (AEP). These classes complied with TUJ COVID-19 safety measures.
Dinneer Young-Johnson, a fourth-year International Relations student from the U.S., has remained in Japan and continued taking online classes ever since overseas travel restrictions were imposed in the spring. On the partial resumption of face-to-face classes this fall he said, “Glad to be back. I am now studying for the Foreign Service Officer Test that I will be taking in October, and nothing really prevented me from moving forward to my goal despite the challenging circumstances we are in.”
Runa Gomi, a first-year International Business Studies student from Kanagawa prefecture, said, “The train I took on my way here made me a little nervous, but there seem to be fewer people on campus than I had thought. Now the precautions in place such as having our temperature taken at the entrance to the university.” She said that this was her first visit to the campus since the end of February and that she was looking forward to seeing her friends who she had not met in six months.
Associate Professor in International Business Studies Akashi Hongo resumed teaching face-to-face classes. He said it is good for students to have the choice of face-to-face, hybrid, and online classes. He continued by pointing out that online and hybrid classes require preparation that is different from that for regular face-to-face classes. Instructors need to consider test administration, for example, and set up systems and test equipment and devices.
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs George Miller said,
“We are doing a slow return to normal, with a limited number of classes and students on campus. The idea is to provide the best possible education while working within the confines of safety measures.
“Some classes operate very well online. Others, like studio art classes, benefit from the in-person experience.
“We’re hoping that Japan stays relatively safe and that we can expand to offer more classes in-person very soon.”
At Temple University Main Campus in Pennsylvania, USA, face-to-face classes have been suspended for the fall semester. In the event that confirmed COVID-19 cases or infection clusters emerge on the TUJ campus, we will adopt the necessary countermeasures and disclose all relevant information in an accurate manner. At the same time, we will continue to keep a close eye on the situation as it develops in Japan as well as in Tokyo and the surrounding areas, and take all necessary steps to keep everyone safe.