File Picture: Henk Kruger / African News Agency (ANA)
File Picture: Henk Kruger / African News Agency (ANA)

WATCH: Student pleads for textbook delivery to continue despite lockdown restrictions

By Karen Singh Time of article published Apr 23, 2020

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Durban - A UNISA student has appealed for textbooks to be declared an essential need during the Covid-19 lockdown.

This follows Unisa’s announcement last week that the May/June 2020 examinations would continue using alternative assessment formats.

Unisa urged students to continue working on their assignments and to prepare for their examinations.

“Unisa would like to encourage all students to make use of the non-venue based May/June exam opportunity. However, students who are unable to complete this assessment will automatically be deferred to the October/November 2020 examination period without penalty or additional cost,” said Unisa.

Fallon le Fleur, who is studying towards a degree in education, said students were struggling to get textbook deliveries during this time.

The 34-year-old said she had ordered three textbooks through Takealot, but all orders had been cancelled due to the lockdown.

At the beginning of the lockdown, Takealot announced that it had reopened and would focus on the sale and delivery of essential goods.

“My plea is that the government makes our textbooks an essential need as we are faced with online assessments and assignments. We are unable to complete our assignments as we do not have the textbooks,” said Le Fleur.

Le Fleur said Unisa had advised her that she would be doing online assessments instead of the May/June examinations. In a video posted on social media, Le Fleur asked President Cyril Ramaphosa and Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande to place textbooks on the essential needs list.

“I come to you and I plead not for alcohol, not for cigarettes but for textbooks for university students to become an essential need,” she said.

Unisa said students could access the Unisa Library online via the myUnisa portal and the Library app at their convenience.

Unisa spokesperson Edgar Rathelele said that as per the university’s policy the library did not supply students with prescribed books.

Rathelele said the library had increased its subscription to eResources to ensure 24/7 online library access.

This included a total of 200000 individual titles of e-Books, which included some textbooks that were available on e-print, 441 individual database titles, 481371 e-journals titles and 11931 linked e-reserves.

The Mercury

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