On the state of emergency in the Czech Republic and the situation at the Institute of Hospitality Management in Prague
In Prague, April 1, 2020
Let me, on behalf of the management of the Institute of Hospitality Management in Prague, comment on the current state of emergency in the Czech Republic and, above all, focus on the current situation in the operation of the Institute of Hospitality Management in Prague.
In connection with the spread of infectious disease COVID-19, the ban on the personal presence of students at universities has been in force throughout the Czech Republic since March 11, 2020. The day after, a state of emergency was declared for the entire country. The management of the Institute of Hospitality Management in Prague decided to suspend the operation of the school with effect from 2 pm on March 10, and this ban applies to all students as well as to all academic and non-academic staff. The aim is to protect the health and lives of all of us and for this reason the school building is closed until further notice.
You are kept informed about the measures taken in the Information System (IS) of the IHM, we send crucial messages to all e-mail boxes. Information is also published on the website www.vsh.cz and on the official profile of IHM on Facebook.
In accordance with the regulation of the National Accreditation Office for Higher Education, the direct form of teaching has been replaced by distance learning for students of all three study programs with relevant specializations in both degrees and in both forms of study. Due to the obstacle to work on the side of the employer, all academic staff are ordered to communicate with students on a continuous basis in a contactless manner. Especially electronically, by e-mail, but also via phone calls, video chats, video conferences, social network groups, etc. All teachers, whether internal or external, are obliged to check their e-mail box at least once a day and respond as far as possible. The absolute priority is to consult bachelor and master theses. The teachers are forbidden to take holiday, and they are ready to return immediately to the place of work as soon as the epidemiological situation allows.
We are aware of the current difficult situation, which will fundamentally change the market of tourism, hotel industry, gastronomy, spa, but also marketing activities. We try to ensure, as far as possible, the running of the summer semester of the academic year 2019/2020 without any interruptions. Now, I would like to inform you about the help offered by IHM to its students and which I decided as a company CEO with effect from April 1, 2020:
- In the case of tuition fees spread over 2 instalments, the term of the 2nd instalment is automatically extended by 1 month, i.e. from the original April 15 to May 15, 2020.
- For the students, the alternative examination period will be extended from the original September 20, until October 31, 2020, without any financial penalties, even though it will be a “graduation” after the standard period of study.
- Students who decide to take their State Final Examinations in January 2021 will have an extended deadline for submitting their study card (index) until January 14, 2021, without any financial penalties.
- The date of the State Final Examinations in January 2021 will be considered for all students without exception as a regular term, i.e. the attendance will not be charged.
- The conditional enrolment fee and repetition of subjects in the winter semester 2020, or subjects from this semester in the summer semester 2021, will be generally waived.
- The deadline for passing the key exams from the summer semester 2020 will be automatically extended to the end of the winter semester 2020, without conditional enrolment and free of charge. In case of failing the exams, the conditional enrolment for students will not be possible until the summer semester 2021.
- In the case of renewed operation of IHM in May, facultative seminars on the given subjects will be offered to students of both forms of study in June. We are ready to repeat this offer in September, with regard to the development of the epidemiological situation.
- IHM will not count the summer semester 2020 in the standard length of study. This will also affect the waiver of part of the tuition fees or fees for students who will take exams in the semester following the last semester of the standard length of study, i.e. in the bachelor study 7th semester and in master study 5th semester.
- On March 30, 2020, the Government of the Czech Republic passed a bill which will be discussed by the Parliament of the Czech Republic and will enable that:
a. universities will postpone the dates of the admission procedure and the State Final Examinations; at the same time, it will be possible to take not only State Final Examinations, but also other examinations and study duties in distance form;
b. the period of 6 months from March 1 to August 31, 2020 will not count towards students' time limits for compliance with the maximum permissible length of study and for awarding scholarships;
c. applicants for admission will be allowed to submit their secondary school leaving certificate up to 30 days after the start of the new academic year.
It should be added that this law will be in force this year only and applies to public, state, and private universities. At the same time, both the Ministry and the management of our university want to do their utmost to ensure that the current situation has the least impact on both applicants for admission and all our students.
As soon as the draft law passes through a process in a state of legislative emergency and is approved, the Institute of Hospitality Management in Prague will take appropriate measures to fully comply with the applicable legislation in the Czech Republic while minimizing the impact of the situation on our students. At the same time, all tasks are assigned so that control reports on the fulfillment of the teaching of newly accredited degree programs are submitted to the National Accreditation Office for Higher Education within the set deadline, i.e. by May 31, 2020. Regardless of the current situation.
At the Institute of Hospitality Management in Prague, all attendance meetings of the collective and working bodies of the university are cancelled and the operation of all operating sections is interrupted. The Study Department handles student applications electronically and through the IHM Information System. It is the duty of each academic worker to submit a statement of work during the distance form of teaching, specifying the way of communication with students within individual courses, a list of students consulted with bachelor and master theses, an overview of creative activities, both publishing and research and other activities related to the performance of the relevant function in the academic environment. If any of the academic or non-academic worker does not communicate with you, contact me immediately - by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, resp. by phone at 00420 728 412 808 or by a private Facebook message - and I will deal with the case immediately. Anonymously, but if the complaint proves to be justified, appropriate steps in accordance with the Labour Code will be taken for the employee for breach of work discipline.
At present, the absolute priority is to ensure educational activities. For this reason:
- all employees travel abroad are prohibited;
- arrivals and departures of all Erasmus + academic and non-academic staff and students are prohibited;
- organization of all events is forbidden, Student scientific and professional activity 2020 was cancelled, all lifelong learning courses were cancelled, planned excursions and events organized by the Student Senate of IHM were cancelled; the culinary event Grandma's Recipes originally planned for May 2020 was postponed, as well as the international scientific conference Hotel, Tourism and Education was postponed from October 2020 to Spring 2021;
- all academic staff were sent a presentation identical to that presented to the students of the last, ending years, of the course Pre-State Seminar with the aim of unifying information and procedures for graduation;
- in the case of resumption of university operation, all academic staff are required to have a personal presence at work 2 weeks prior to the State Final Examinations from Monday to Thursday of at least 6 hours a day, and everyone is obliged to be present at the workplace at least from 9 am to 1 pm; in case of external workers, their substitute will be the relevant head of the department;
- it is strictly forbidden to enter any assessment (credits, exams) from individual subjects into the Information System of the IHM during the interruption of the IHM operation. Academic staff may not enter the assessment in the IS IHM earlier than in the study card (index). In order to check the identity of the students and the fulfillment of the enrolment in the relevant semester, credits and exams will be entered into the IS IHM as well as into the study cards (indexes) at the same time, only at the time of renewed operation of the IHM.
I can assure you that I personally carry out a continuous, rigorous review of the performance of all employees' duties to prevent all problems and misunderstandings and to do my utmost to ensure your studies are successful.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I am fully aware that we are all in an extremely complicated period. On behalf of all colleagues at the Institute of Hospitality Management in Prague, I can promise you that we will do our utmost for you so that you are able to pass the credits and exams as well as to successfully graduate the Institute of Hospitality Management in Prague. Together we will do our best to manage this situation.
Please, do not panic and do not be sceptical. Let us be considerate and have solidarity with each other. Let us follow all the measures set by the Government of the Czech Republic, the Ministry of Health or the Crisis Staffs of individual regions or municipalities and cities.
Think of our health. After all, health is the highest value in our lives. I wish you all good health!
If possible, let me wish you a Happy Easter.
Thank you for your attention.
Ing. Petr S t u d n i č k a, PhD.
Institute of Hospitality Management in Prague 8, Ltd.