Address of the Rector of Medical University - Pleven
Prof. dr. Slavcho Tomov
Dear colleagues, students and administrators,
The situation because of the COVID 19 epidemics is an emergency state for both our country and our university. There has been no such crisis in the history of the university. No state of emergency has been declared in Bulgaria since the Second World War. Our country, society and every single individual are put to the test. Our students, faculty, staff, the training process, organizing the preliminary admission exams, and last but not least - our authority are all facing a huge challenge. We have our fears - and this is only natural, for ourselves, our loved ones, our families.
There is no algorithm of action in the fight against the coronavirus. We are trying to find the right measures and actions to cope with the epidemic and prevent it from spreading with the support of responsible state institutions.
It was only a week ago that the first two patients infected with COVID-19 were registered in Pleven. We did all we could to dispel doubts that the infection was brought to Pleven by our international students. All students and university staff, arrived from countries with COVID-19 complied with the recommended quarantine period. Prompt and timely measures were taken, and all faculty and students who were in contact with the infected patients at the Second Clinic were examined for coronavirus. The results have dispelled these fears: more than 90 tests proved negative.
What shall we do next at our university? It is only natural that you have many questions to which there are no answers yet. Problems as to how will the semester go, how will classes take place; how will internships be conducted in clinical disciplines; how will exams take place, including those that you had to sit for, on the passing of which depends whether you can continue your studies; how will administrative service be organized for you to obtain the documents you need, and how you can come back to have your lectures and seminars and communicate with your teachers.
In this time of confusion and hardships, we should never forget that despite the limitations imposed, such as quarantine or a state of emergency, life goes on and we have taken the moral responsibility to train you, even in such critical situations, so that you can be good physicians, competent health specialists, as well as good people. Wherever you are at this moment – in Pleven, at home or outside Bulgaria, I want you to know that we, your teachers are with you and we will use all chances to support you, even with the challenges of on-line training. I want to assure you that your questions are our problems, and we have not stopped trying to find the answers with the help of competent institutions.
Over the 45 years of existence of Medical University – Pleven, you have many times proved to be worthy members of the academic community of the higher education institution. I believe that this time too, you will demonstrate professionalism and humanity so that we can cope with this crisis. A model has been designed to continue the training process for regulated specialities. It depends on all of us, both teachers and students to make it work and add contents and meaning to it. The solution is distance learning in a virtual classroom and educational platforms.
Medical University – Pleven has a working Centre for distance learning, with the potential to be used for training in a virtual classroom. We appeal to al teachers to upload their lectures, additional materials and tests on the platform for distance learning in all disciplines, following the curricula for the respective specialities. A virtual classroom will make it possible for students to be in contact with their teachers daily. We have planned to provide an educational platform of lectures, videos, exercises and tests for training in medicine – all by renowned professors and researchers from leading universities from across the globe. Administrative services for students will continue to be provided by electronic means. The university will use its intellectual, financial and managerial resources to cope with the crisis. We will firmly support each of our students so that they can continue their training!
Dear colleagues, students and administrative staff members,
We are in an unprecedented situation. One microorganism has put the world, Bulgaria and our Alma Mater. However, the coronavirus has put to the test not only our physical well-being. It has challenged our ability to cherish and protect some universal values that have been somewhat neglected.
This state of emergency means that new rules are created, that include self-discipline, selflessness, courage, but also humility, endurance and humaneness. I firmly believe that together we will manage, because we strongly believe, hope and work for the cause we all share – Medical University – Pleven!