Rector's Letter to Academic Community
Dear Memebers of Academic Community!
I address these words to you immediately after announcing the details of the prepared regulation on new restrictions related to the spread of the coronavirus infection. They are very far-reaching - in fact they introduce a national quarantine. For nearly two weeks we have been working in an extremely demanding conditions. We expected, yes, we knew that sooner or later the epidemic would reach us, that we would have to learn to live with the coronavirus and to live as normally as possible. The regulations I have introduced, often anticipating ministerial solutions, are necessary to ensure the continuity of our University. The administrative staff work on a limited basis, but all the organisational units of the University carry out their daily tasks and responsibilities. The temporary suspension of traditional forms of education during studies, post-graduate studies and doctoral studies is particularly difficult. In order to mitigate the effects of these restrictions, we have introduced a form of on-line classes recommended by the Ministry, regardless of whether it is provided for in the programme of study.
I know that you very much miss those direct contacts with students, a lecture hall full of knowledge-hungry students, laboratory classes, academic disputes and discussions. I share the concern of many of our students who have not managed to complete their planned research for their BA or MA theses. I know that you lack direct master-pupil interaction, but I also believe that you can bring out many new ideas to inspire our students to new, more creative forms of education. Perhaps this is the right time to see education more as a form of relationship, rather than simply passing on a "file of condensed knowledge".
It's a time of trial. The future will see if we can handle it. Today we are at war with an invisible but dangerous enemy. Every day I experience many positive reactions from you. I appreciate your community solidarity, commitment and creativity in dealing with this extraordinary situation. Thank you for your help and support in overcoming these difficulties, for your calm and understanding in these difficult moments. However, each of us must unleash new layers of empathy. After all, the epidemic will pass and the University of Opole will continue, because it is a project for many generations. We will emerge from this difficult situation even stronger.
Easter is approaching. I wish you health, joy and cheerfulness. Let the words of our Nobel Prize winner, Wisława Szymborska, come true: "Why do you, the hour of darkness, come with unnecessary fear? You are - so you must go. Joy will come after sadness".
Rector of the University of Opole
Prof. Marek Masnyk