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Rome Reports

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Vatican universities find ways to continue class


The Vatican has seven universities in Rome and dozens of academic training institutes. This week, due to the coronavirus, their classrooms have closed and thousands of students are at home.

STEFANO MABILIO
Professor, Design of Sacred Space

"The students are at home, but formally the university is open. We are very calm because sounding the alarm is useless."

MIGUEL MARTÍNEZ CRUZ
Student

"We have been asked to be a little more cautious and careful not to continue the spread of the coronavirus."

Arturo Belloq is a professor at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. He is studying how to teach dozens of students from a distance.

ARTURO BELLOQ
Pontifical University of Santa Croce

“The idea is doing it through YouTube Live or by recording the classes and putting them on the university platform, so students can listen to the class and then engage on chats or forums. They can ask the questions they want and I can give them material to read.”

The idea is for the virus not to interrupt teaching. To achieve this, the internet is a teacher's best ally.

STEFANO MABILIO
Professor, Design of Sacred Space

“We haven't organized online classes yet, but we have the structure. I have a website through which I can communicate with students.”

MIGUEL MARTÍNEZ CRUZ
Student

"We have homework, papers, summaries, reports... They gave us work to do, so we can take advantage of these days."

Meanwhile, empty universities now replace Italian classrooms once full of students, like at the Augustinian Patristic Institute.

Perhaps for that reason, one positive effect of the closure could be an added value and importance for solid education.


JMB/Melissa Butz