Some universities have already gone back to the emergency remote learning to mitigate the impact of a third wave of Covid-19 on their campuses. Picture Cindy Waxa/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Some universities have already gone back to the emergency remote learning to mitigate the impact of a third wave of Covid-19 on their campuses. Picture Cindy Waxa/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Some Cape universities opt for remote learning as third wave hits

By Sisonke Mlamla Time of article published Jun 14, 2021

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Cape Town - As Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister Blade Nzimande is expected to release results of the study on the impact of Covid-19 on students today, some universities have already gone back to the emergency remote learning to mitigate the impact of a third wave of Covid-19 on their campuses.

This follows an announcement by Stellenbosch University (SU) that it was now moving classes back online and shutting down gatherings on campus after the detection of 36 cases of Covid-19.

The chairperson of SU’s institutional committee for business continuity, Stan du Plessis, said the committee met last week to consider the rise in coronavirus infections.

Du Plessis said since Monday last week there had been 36 positive test results on their campus, including a number of infections in the Metanoia residence.

SA Union of Students president Misheck Mugabe said: “We are in winter wherein the third wave of Covid-19 infections is expected to take its course.”

Mugabe said some universities had stopped classes already. “It is in the interest of students and universities that measures are put in place to mitigate the impact of a third wave of Covid-19.”

He 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 the difficult time.

Du Plessis said SU would move all lectures and tutorials online with immediate effect until the end of classes for the second term on Friday.

Meanwhile, UCT students complained about being crammed and overcrowded in Jammie shuttles and writing in exam venues with inadequate ventilation.

UCT spokesperson Elijah Moholola said they had always emphasised the obligation that each and every member of the campus community had in taking personal responsibility for compliance with the Covid-19 protocols on campus.

"At institutional level, UCT has measures in place that are fully compliant with the national lockdown alert level two regulations," he said.

Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) spokesperson Lauren Kansley said CPUT had always had a proactive and firm stance on Covid-19.

“Nothing will change with regard to our academic project. We continue with a carousel model to our teaching and learning, which means we limit the amount of people (students and staff) on campus. We continue as we have done,” said Kansley.

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