Deadline Arrives For Universities To Stop Contact Classes

After President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that all in-person classes and experimental learning activities should end on Wednesday, Universities around the country have had to make plans. These plans outline if and how learning and teaching will continue under level 4 lockdown.

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Online has become the only remaining alternative for Universities after President Cyril Ramaphosa's announcement that all contact classes and experimental learning will be stopped on Wednesday 30 June. 

Nelson Mandela University, the University of Fort Hare and the University of Stellenbosch have said that they will double down on their existing online learning methods while implementing stricter measures where needed.   

According to Spokesperson Zandile Mbabela, Nelson Mandela University in Gqeberha, will continue with its existing plans for the academic programme, which is predominantly online.

She continued to say, "Throughout the pandemic, Nelson Mandela University has planned its own response, in relation to both operations and learning and teaching, in such a way that it advances the academic programme while ensuring – as far as possible – the utmost safety and wellbeing of its staff and students."

... the University’s existing plans for the continuation of the academic programme in as safe an environment as possible, and with a predominantly online focus, remain in place.

Additionally, the University of Stellenbosch's Institutional Committee for Business Continuity (ICBC) also held an emergency meeting after the President's announcement, during which it resolved to adopt the following measures for it's students:

  • The current A2 sit-down examinations, as well as all other online assessments, have been suspended
  • All postgraduate assessments are postponed
  • The planned recess will move forward and will now commence on 28 June and run until 9 July 2021
  • The A2 and A3 assessments will resume after the recess and will take place online. More information on the A4 assessment opportunity will be communicated at a later stage
  • All contact classes on the Tygerberg campus are suspended and will move online while all clinicals continue
  • The Computer User Areas are closed, and access to the library is limited
  • Student administration services will be available online, and no face-to-face services will be available in the University's Admin A building

Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor, Sakhela Buhlungu, said the University of Fort Hare will also suspend all of its contact and experimental class while keeping its existing online learning in place.

"We already have multi-modal teaching in place, using online methodologies. Contact teaching for students doing laboratory work or practical classes will be suspended from 30 June 2021," Buhlungu said

Our residences remain open, although congregate settings do pose additional risks. It is absolutely essential that students follow all Covid-19 protocols to protect themselves and others from a looming third wave.

"This includes the mandatory wearing of masks in public spaces – including residence public spaces – regular sanitising and maintaining the prescribed social distance. We already have mechanisms in place for additional cleaning in residences and our Properties and Services Department is providing sanitisers as usual." 

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