COVID-19 Virus Letter to the Swiss Hotel School community

The Swiss Hotel School 2015 Graduate, Beula Somers
30th April 2020
The Swiss Hotel School 2006 Graduate, Verousce Mckibbin
6th May 2020

Update 6th May 2020

Dear All,

We were disappointed at the decisions made by our Ministers of Education last week. We were hoping for more.

As there is no fixed date for our return we are updating our plans as best we can, while we work on the following assumptions:

  • We anticipate being able to get some students back to school at the same time as the matriculants and Grade 7s. By the same logic, our third-year hospitality students and indeed both our culinary classes should be permitted to return. 
  • We anticipate stringent hygiene and social distancing regulations will be a requirement at this time. We have ample space, as well as the multiple entrances and we are very good at hygiene.
  • We will be writing to the Department requesting an early return at the appropriate lockdown level. We believe that current regulations are necessarily built with the worst-case scenario in mind – i.e. hundreds of students per class in the major universities – and that we are much better placed to ensure a safe environment.
  • We have received a letter from the Council for Higher Education permitting us to deliver a higher percentage of our lessons through distance methodologies during the current lockdown.
  • We are still committed to completing each programme by year-end, we have increased our online classes and have sent out a new timetable on Saturday. 
  • That said we anticipate difficulties with our internship placements; the industry has been badly hit by the regulations and will take time to recover. We will, therefore, concentrate on our theory classes for the time being and look to September as being the most likely date that we can get students into industry safely. For most of our students this will involve curriculum re-shuffle so please bear with us. We will communicate with each class individually.
  • Chef Chad is investigating our involvement in utilizing our premises as a venue for the production of meals for the less privileged. This would be undertaken in conjunction with SA Chefs and would afford our students a temporary work experience opportunity where no other exists.
  • The Wine Tour – scheduled this year for August will probably not take place. Inter-provincial travel may well be possible by then but flights will be problematic and social gathering is likely still to be prohibited in some form or other. Mr. Tschumi will make a final call in a month from now. 
  • Planning for the Third year Restaurant Project commenced yesterday. We assume the operational element (which starts mid-September) will go ahead but will review the situation mid-July. This year could be the most innovative project on record…

We thank you for your continued support and promise to inform you of developments as they unfold. If in the interim you need us please let me know.

In closing, I would like to thank all the faculty for their hard work and commitment under these difficult circumstances. They have been terrific.

Best regards and keep safe.

Nick Martin