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During one of his regular meetings on the status of Covid-19 in South Africa on the 30th of September, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced an adjustment to Alert Level 1 Covid-19 Regulations. This news has major implications for how university operations will continue under these more flexible guidelines.

 


The last year and a half have undoubtedly been tough on the average university student, and it has been during this period, more than ever, when support from university administrators has been of utmost importance. However, speaking to university students, it has been revealed that university administrators have not been as helpful in these uncertain times as students have required them to be, especially with regards to financial aid.

 


Major losses have been seen due to the Covid-19 pandemics. Concerns grow day by day when it comes to learners being behind and having missed out on massive chunks of teaching and learning time.


Schools in the Free State are now battling with infections as more and more learners test positive for Covid-19. The provincial department is now being questioned as far as how they have handled the situation goes.


The Department of Education in the Eastern Cape has become concerned over the rise in Covid-19 cases especially among learners in the province, this comes after 89 schools have confirmed to have registered Covid-19 cases. 


After 60 people tested positive for COVID-19 at Grey College, classes needed to be suspended to ensure the safety of all the other learners and staff.


There are rising concerns when it comes to how online learning has become a normal way of teaching due to the Covid-19 pandemic. What impact can this have on children in the long term? Read further for more details.


Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga, has said that schools will not be closing while the country experiences a third wave. This has not been responded to well with some calling for schools to be closed immediately.


Without in-person orientation programmes and on-campus lectures to aid first-year university entrants in their transition out of high school, some students have found it increasingly difficult to make new friends, remain academically motivated, and completely immerse themselves in the university lifestyle in 2021; whilst those who have had on-campus learning have complained of many other issues, including a lack of support from their institutions.

 


Milpark Education was established in 1997 and one of the first private providers of higher management education in South Africa. Milpark Education is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training as a Private Higher Education Institution and is one of the leading providers in South Africa. The institution has two teaching campuses in Cape Town and Johannesburg that provides undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications, courses and training to students. In a world that is constantly changing, their aim is to ensure that they continue to support students' learning journey through relevant education solutions that are tailored to the needs of modern society. 


NSFAS is now urging beneficiaries to order their laptops online as they begin the rollout of devices which was promised in early 2020. This is to help students gain access to online learning.


The Minister in charge of Higher Education, Blade Nzimande, has said that work is being done to patch up the holes when it comes to students across South Africa accessing online learning. This includes NSFAS laptops and connectivity issues.


Government is now committing themselves to have all schools in the country have access to WiFi by 2030. They have also been working towards providing support to parents when it comes to learners school uniforms.


Over 100 students who were deregistered by the Walter Sisulu University in the Eastern Cape are accusing the university of "unlawful" exclusion and claim that the university has wasted their 2020 academic year. 


Rosebank College is a brand of The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE) which is one of the leading private higher education institutions in the country registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.  The IIE has more accredited higher education qualifications than any other – currently over 90.


Student Union, the South African Union of Students (SAUS) believes that higher education is in crisis and that the delay of NSFAS laptop deliveries and data, Unisa's latest action and limited access is the cause of it.


Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation Dr Blade Nzimande briefed the media on the reopening of universities and completion of the 2020 academic year. 


With the department announcing earlier that they will be opening online schools, Deputy Minister Reginah Mhaule reiterated that they are working hard to improve on e-learning. 


Universities are now waiting for final instructions from the Department of Higher Education on how exactly the 2021 academic year will run. Due to the pandemic, many Universities had to switch to an online learning programme with some Universities indicating that this will continue for 2021. 


All students in South Africa as well as the world had the opportunity to share in the feelings of chaos the 2020 academic year presented. Which forms of support has the Department provided for varsity students to complete the academic year?

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