CPUT vaccination site gets thumbs-up from Nzimande
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Cape Town - Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister Blade Nzimande gave the Cape Peninsula University of Technology's (CPUT) vaccination centre a thumbs-up after his oversight visit on Monday.
The university has become one of three institutions of higher education to be accredited as a vaccination site, along with Nelson Mandela University and UWC, in a bid to support the national vaccination roll-out programme.
Nzimande said he was heartened to hear that CPUT started vaccinations last week on Monday, with 60 vaccinations a day and had already started scaling up to 120 a day.
He said more significantly CPUT was providing vaccinations to staff, students, pensioners and the local community.
"Institutions that can become outreach vaccination sites rather than primary vaccinations sites will be able to leverage the Department of Health to minimise initial set-up and logistics costs," said Nzimande.
Nzimande was accompanied by Higher Health chief executive Professor Ramneek Ahluwalia; CPUT's vice-chancellor, Professor Chris Nhlapo; and the Human Sciences Research Council's Professors Crain Soudien and Sibusiso Sifunda, as they released results of a comprehensive study of the impact of Covid-19 on the youth and students in tertiary institutions.
Sifunda said that from the results, 53% thought they were at low risk of contracting Covid-19 and 15% perceived themselves as high risk; 41% were not able to purchase their own food during lockdown, of which 10% relied on food donations and 15% went hungry on some days.
He said more than 40% thought they would be able to cope with their workload after lockdown, with older students more confident than younger ones.
"Over 80% of students at universities and universities of technology received institutional support in the form of data bundles, data-free access to websites and accessing online learning platforms," he said.
SA Union of Students president Misheck Mugabe called on universities to give all levels of support, with data, digital devices and learning support to ensure that no student was left behind during this difficult time.
Nhlapho detailed the plight of disadvantaged students. He said that higher learning institutions had trouble with the option to conduct lessons remotely.
He said the internet, locations and data bundles have been key challenges for students, “which means more than half were not getting data bundles from their institutions”.
Ahluwalia said there have been many Covid-19 outbreaks in the tertiary institutions. He said universities were vulnerable institutions because of millions of students who occupy residences and lecture halls.
"Young people go out to restaurants and clubs, and they bring the infections to other people," he said.