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More Deaths Seen In Universities and TVET Colleges

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The Higher Education sector has been greatly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic as many members of the sector lost their lives due to complications from the virus. Minister Nzimande has given updates on higher education now that we are on level 1.

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Blade Nzimande spoke on the changes in the higher education sector as we have now moved to Lockdown level 1. Deputy Minister, Buti Manamela, was present as well.

Department took to heart that while the rate of infections have slowed, spikes and surges can still happen especially during gatherings. This then affects Higher Education as far as gathering for classes and exams go.

As for the deaths seen in the sector until 22 September, the sector saw a total of 89 members passing away as a result of the virus. Universities has 53 members who lost their lives and TVET Colleges saw a total of 36. Of the 52 from Universities, 44 were staff members and 9 was students. With the TVET College total of 36, 11 were students and 25 were staff members. 

The Department has connected all TVET Colleges have access to connectivity, optimisation and services as this is will be useful for those working off campus.

The Higher Education sector welcomes the move to alert level 1 which will allow for more contact teaching and learning to take place, said the Minister. 

Nzimande previously announced that all students will be returning to campuses two weeks after the president announced level 1.

Higher Health has trained many students and staff. Over 12 000 individuals were trained to recognise Covid precautions at post school locations as Higher Health continues to monitor Covid vulnerabilities in the sector. 

The screening app launched by Higher Health called Health Check is used by 15 million people and is being used on a routine check by students and staff on campuses.

Higher Health now also has a 24 hour dedicated higher health mental health support service run by experienced professional psychologists, social workers and counsellors.

Nzimande has said that this support service has helped immensely and that it has helped students in mental health breaks. He then encourages students to use the support line which can be reached at 0800 36 36 36 and said that student should "know they're not alone".

The Department of Higher Education has also launched 10 mobile clinics in Zululand to provide support and care to TVET Colleges.

Nzimande's other department, the Department of Science and Innovation, is involved with the development and procurement of vaccines for Covid in the country.

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