LAUSANNE, Switz., Nov. 15, 2020—Students participating in the FIE Academy SA fencing program in Africa have successfully completed their class of 2020 degree programs. Despite some setbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the full nine-student class earned two degrees:
- Higher Certificate in Coaching Science with the eta College (www.etacollege.com)
- FIE Coaching Diploma for all three weapons with the Tyshler Fencing Academy
The Class of 2020 started with nine students from five African countries:
Unfortunately, this Academy class was affected by the global situation caused by the pandemic.
On the 16th of March the FIE recommended the Academy program be paused and all students were to be sent home. However, the students requested to carry on, as they had committed themselves to spend a year participating in the program. After consulting with the FIE Legal Commission and local advocates, each student signed a corona virus undertaking document and the FIE approved the Academy program to carry on.
A student from Kenya, Michael Mwaura Njeri, and another from South Africa, George Murray James Norval, requested to be released and were immediately sent home where they carried-on participating actively via video lecturing. Mr. Njeri graduated with the eta College, while Mr. Norval returned to the Academy when it was possible to finalize the courses.
In May, the Academy was approached by the Fencing Federation of Mauritius to organize repatriation of their student, Sanjinee Appa, and she was sent back the next month.
During the pandemic lockdown, students received live lectures with theoretical lessons held as live video lectures and seminars, and practical lessons being conducted in the enclosed facility parking facility twice daily.
From May 1, it became possible to organise live practical lessons at the accommodation venue. In the beginning, the practical lessons continued to take place outside and later were able to be moved into the conference centre. From the beginning of September, students returned to the fencing hall to resume their normal fencing programs.
The lockdown and pandemic completely changed education circumstances throughout the world. The Academy stated, “It also affected our project, but we are proud to point out that the complete program was carried out at the required level. Transformation to e-lecturing became a necessity and a new standard in education and we managed to adopt these methods very efficiently”.
On the 13Th of November the class of 2020 took final theoretical and practical exams at the Academy and all passed successfully. The students also graduated successfully from eta College.
At the graduation ceremony, each student received the FIE Coaching Academy SA diploma, FIE diploma and eta College diploma as well as a complete set of coaching fencing equipment.
Most importantly, all students remained healthy for the program duration without any infection from COVID-19.