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Mentor Education – COVID-19 - Official Response

COVID-19 – Official Response

13/07/2020

Mentor Education COVID-19 Update 12/07/2020.

Advice to Staff and Students

Mentor Education continues to follow advice from the Australian and Victorian Governments in relation to Coronavirus (COVID-19), and we are acting in unison with the Vocational Education and Training Sector and our regulator the Australian Skills Quality Agency (ASQA).

The safety and wellbeing of our students, staff and wider learning community continues to be our highest priority. Currently, there are no suspected or confirmed cases of the virus at our Windsor Campus.

Mentor Education is located in the education precinct in Windsor, Victoria. This precinct is managed by Melbourne Polytechnic and as TAFEs are recognised as essential services by the Victorian Government the campus is continuing to operate.

In response to the current coronavirus situation, Melbourne Polytechnic has put in place a number of responses for managing the current situation of Stage 3 Lockdown in Victoria.

All Mentor Education Staff members that can work remotely, will continue to do so.

For those people who are required to attend our Windsor Campus we have implemented strict physical distancing measures to minimise the risk of transmission in line with Melbourne Polytechnic policy. Increased cleaning and hygiene practices have also been put in place and continue.

Health and Safety Procedures

New health and safety procedures to support the wellbeing of everyone on campus have been put in place. All organisations that are part of the education precinct continue to diligently to support our the learning community in an effort to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus. At Mentor Education are continuously evaluating information available to us that has been provided from a range of government agencies including the Department of Health and Human Services, the Australian Department of Health, the World Health Organization, Department of Education Victoria and more recently, Worksafe Victoria.

For more information on symptoms, details on protecting yourself against COVID-19, please visit the Department of Health and Human Services Victoria's COVID-19 page: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/staying-safe-covid-19

Cleaning

In response to COVID-19 Melbourne Polytechnic have implemented additional cleaning at each campus.

An increased level of cleaning and hygiene is occurring in high traffic areas including building entrances, hallways, lifts, stairwells, bathrooms and libraries. There has also been a focus on frequently touched surfaces, including tables, benches, handles, switches, railings, taps, toilets, and sinks.

  • Hospital grade cleaner and sanitiser is being used, and cleaning staff are required to wear gloves and follow all necessary hand hygiene and OH&S protocols.
  • As part of daily cleaning, all soap dispensers are checked and refilled when empty. Tissues and hand sanitiser are available on campus.
  • Cleaning kits are also located in classrooms for students and staff to use should they need to clean surfaces, in particular high-touch, shared surfaces such as keyboards and computers.

Cleaning is conducted in accordance with the government’s COVID-19 cleaning guidelines (Australian Government Department of Health’s Environmental cleaning and disinfection principles for COVID-19).

Physical distancing

Mentor Education in line with the precinct practices will continue to combine physical distancing measures on campus and ways to reduce close personal contact. Eligibility to be on campus has been determined to be as follows.

Anyone coming to campus must be: Well and not presenting cold- or flu-like symptoms (e.g. fever; chills; cough; sore throat; runny nose; loss of sense of smell; shortness of breath) Not belong to a high-risk group:

  • People aged 70 years and over
  • People aged 65 years and older with chronic medical conditions
  • People with compromised immune systems
  • Indigenous people aged over 50 years with one or more chronic medical conditions.
  • Not knowingly been in contact with a person confirmed to have coronavirus, until they have been medically cleared

Face Masks

The Department of Health and Human Services has updated its policy on the wearing of face masks. The Chief Health Officer recommends that adults living in areas under Stage 3 restrictions wear a face mask when outside their home if it is difficult to keep 1.5 metres apart from other people.

Key points

If you live an area under Stage 3 restrictions and are leaving home for one of the four reasons, you should wear a face mask such as a cloth mask or surgical mask if it is difficult to keep 1.5 metres apart from others.

  • Wearing a face mask protects you and your community by providing an additional physical barrier to coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • Keeping 1.5 metres between yourself and others and washing your hands are still the best defences against coronavirus (COVID-19).

There are two types of face masks suitable for community use: cloth masks and surgical masks.

The recommendation to wear a face mask does not apply to children (people aged under 18 years), individuals with breathing difficulties, and those who have physical conditions that make it difficult to wear a face mask.

There will be no enforcement on the use of face masks. You will not be fined if you don’t wear one.

More information on Face Masks is available here: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/face-masks-covid-19

What is physical distancing - why is it important?

Physical distancing includes ways to stop or slow the spread of infectious diseases. It means less contact between you and other people. Physical distancing is important because COVID-19 is most likely to spread from person-to-person through:

  • direct close contact with a person while they are infectious or in the 24 hours before their symptoms appeared
  • close contact with a person with a confirmed infection who coughs or sneezes, or
  • touching objects or surfaces (such as door handles or tables) contaminated from a cough or sneeze from a person with a confirmed
  • infection, and then touching your mouth or face.

The campus has a rule of one person per four square metres, in line with Department of Education and Training guidelines. Additional cleaning is also occurring, and bathrooms are stocked with the requirements for good hand hygiene. Mentor Education Staff and students are being requested to follow health and hygiene practices in line with those set out by the Victorian Chief Health Officer.

Distance Learning Arrangements

Many Mentor Education courses are delivered via distance learning. All courses are now available via our online learning platforms. Distance learning enables students to continue and complete their study and training from locations away from a campus.

Mentor Education will continue to do this in a few ways:

  • Using online tools for classes in some courses and assessments
  • Optional Live Virtual Tutorials
  • Using email, phone, and video calls for communicating between educators and students.

Student Support Services

Please contact the Student Support Team (Phone 1300 306 146 or international callers dial +613 8317 2900) during business hours Monday – Friday 9am-5pm, excluding public holidays for general questions. The Student Support team are be able to provide you with the contact details for the Faculty of your course if you have course-specific questions. We also post regular updates on our website. Alternatively you can email service@mentor.edu.au at any time.

Assessment Marking Turn Around Times

We understand that all of our students eagerly wait for return of marked assessments. Due to the changing landscape we are currently experiencing turnaround times for marking for all courses that varies between 9 and 23 days. We encourage students that require priority marking for the reasons of further study and employment to contact us at service@mentor.edu.au.

Mentor Education is supporting student progression by making all units of study available for all courses in Certificate IV – Advanced Diploma levels to support students to experience continuance in their studies with minimal disruption. Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma students can expect an approximate time of 23 – 26 Days turnaround time. Graduate Diploma Students are advised to contact the Student Support team to request early release of further units to support their progression in their course as they submit their assessments.

Students are encouraged to contact us at service@mentor.edu.au for information at any time.

Refunds

Mentor Educations normal refund policy applies. For information on refunds, please visit: https://www.mentor.edu.au/refund-policy

Iona McKimmie
Chief Executive Officer
Mentor Education Pty Ltd
RTO 21683

30/03/2020

Update 29 March 2020 for our Mentor Learning Community.

Government release Coronavirus Australia app and WhatsApp group for the latest information and advice

The Federal Government has launched a Coronavirus Australia app and WhatsApp group to provide Australians with the latest information and advice about the virus.

The App – Coronavirus Australia, will allow you to stay up to date with the official information and advice, register your self-isolation, check your symptoms, access important health advice, and to see a quick overview of the current official status within Australia.

You can find it on the Apple app store here and the Android store here.

A WhatsApp group, has also been created to distribute information, directly provide citizens with health advice, updates on lockdown measures and other accurate information.

To activate the WhatsApp channel, visit: aus.gov.au/whatsapp.

With thanks to ABC News website, ITNews and The Canberra Times for providing this timely update to everyone so we can share it with our Mentor community.



23/03/2020

COVID 19 Response - Update

Mentor Education remains open for all Prospective, Current and Alumni Students.

Mentor Education is open for business

To all Mentor Education Prospective Students, Students and Alumni and our wider learning community.

There is an expectation that the recent changes and directives put in place by State and Federal Governments in response to COVID-19 such as social distancing, self-isolation and the lockdown of non-essential services will have a considerable impact on your work and home life.

We expect that the impact of these directives may extend to your studies and want to take the opportunity to reassure you that our team will continue to remain active throughout this period of time to assist and help you where required.

Looking after your learning experiences

In recent times we have heavily invested in additional technologies, learning materials and online learning platforms to ensure we have multiple solutions for our students.

In anticipation of the impact of COVID-19 we enacted our Business Continuity Plan (BCP) last Thursday March 12th 2020. Our BCP allows all our management, administrative, curriculum, education advisers, management, trainers, assessors and technology team members to work remotely and be accessible via telephone, video conferencing and email, significantly decreasing any potential disruption to student service, enrolment and study needs.

What else are we doing to support our learning community?

To support our student body, we will shortly be launching additional virtual tutorial classrooms across the range of our courses to provide a higher degree of remote connectivity and flexibility for students to study online. Furthermore, in addition to our systems and technology, we are employing additional team members to assist with an expected increase in student needs over the coming few months.

Our commitment to you

Mentor Education is committed to delivering the same level of services to all our current, prospective and alumni students. Since January 2020, we have been working progressively to ensure that we are well prepared, and our institute is able to continue to provide education services with minimal impact on students’ study and learning needs.

If you have any questions, please reach out to us via email at support@mentor.edu.au or call us during business hours on 1300 306 146.

Please note, we will continue to monitor events closely and will continue to respond quickly to student needs during these uncertain times.

Yours sincerely,

Iona McKimmie (CEO) & Dr Mark Sinclair (Founder), Mentor Education Pty Ltd.



17/03/2020

Mentor Education – COVID - 19 – Official Response

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared coronavirus (COVID-19) a pandemic and in light of recent event and facility closures we have responded immediately to ensure that there is minimal impact on our operations and student learning experiences.

The good news is Mentor Education will continue to operate as normal.

For students and members of our network that are affected by COVID-19 you will continue to receive full support from the Mentor Team including our student service officers, education advisers, academic team, admissions, finance and administration officers.

Studying & Working from Home

We expect many of our students, clients, staff and suppliers will be adopting alternate working conditions over the coming weeks. If you fall into this category we have taken measures to ensure you will still have access to our suite of business functions and services including:

  • full online learning;
  • virtual classes;
  • phone and video tutorials;
  • assessment feedback;
  • digital certificate despatch;
  • live telephone and email support.

Student Hardship Policies

If you are impacted by the fallout of COVID-19, directly or indirectly there are a number of support services available. Through our student support function we offer personal study support, course extensions and referral to support agencies – please remember we are here to help.

For more information please visit our student support services and information guide here:

If you need virus health related answer quickly, then go to:



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