University Classes & Exams Have Been Paused
The Minister of Higher Education finally addressed the public with the changes happening at Universities now that we're under level 4 lockdown. This lockdown is set to come to an end on 11 July.
After the President's announcement that we'll be moving to Level 4 lockdown, many of us have been waiting to hear how this will affect University students.
The Minister of Higher Education, Blade Nzimande, held a briefing on Wednesday afternoon to further outline measures to ensure compliance to the regulations in the fight against the spread of COVID-19 in the higher education sector.
On Sunday night, President Ramaphosa announced:
Contact classes at tertiary institutions will end by Wednesday, the 30th of June, with limited access to the institutions. Residences will however remain open. The Ministers of Basic Education and Higher Education, Science and Innovation will provide further details on these arrangements.
The Ministerial Task Team then came together and discussed the latest regulations and came up with ways to manage higher education institutions under these new regulations.
The following was then announced by Nzimande and will now be put into place for Universities:
- All Universities will manage their own academic activities in line with health protocols.
- Universities aren't officially closed. However, students are not allowed to access campus buildings.
- All face to face classes and exams must be paused.
- Learning is shifted to online learning for all students for the next 2 weeks.
- Residences remain open as its not safe for students to travel back home.
- Staff members who can work from home should do so.
Although students won't have access to buildings, there will be controlled access to campuses for essential services and other activities that cannot be suspended.
As for residences, health protocols must be followed and no gatherings will be allowed.
The Minister went on to commend the University sector and it's part in this pandemic by saying:
The role of some of our Universities in fighting Covid-19 has been phenomenal which shows that our Universities are also research centres who are able to find solutions to the many health problems and issues we have.
Back in March, the Government released guidelines to manage the 2021 academic year during the continuing pandemic which Nzimande says is still in place.
"Our main concern still remains the safety, wellness and protection of our staff and students in all our PSET institutions," the Minister said.
These education institutions will be closed for at least two weeks as Government continues to monitor the Covid-19 situation in the country.
With the education sector is in dire need of educators to accommodate the high volume of South African students, the need for qualified educators is paramount. In South Africa, there are a number of bursary funds available to support students who would like to enter the education sector.
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