Unisa and other universities in Tshwane are slowly reintroducing the academic programme.  Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency(ANA)
Unisa and other universities in Tshwane are slowly reintroducing the academic programme. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency(ANA)

Some students back at Tshwane varsities, but it's online for most

By Goitsemang Tlhabye Time of article published Jun 4, 2020

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Pretoria - Universities in Tshwane are slowly reintroducing the academic programme.

This follows the announcement by Higher Education, Science and Technology Minister Dr Blade Nzimande allowing 33% of students back on campuses during level 3 of the lockdown.

University of Pretoria spokesperson Rikus Delport said teaching and learning as well as coursework programmes would remain online for this semester.

Delport said the university had developed and already signed off a plan last week following consultation with the SRC, organised labour and other stakeholders to enable the gradual return of students.

He said that in their phased plan, special priority would be given to students who were not able to access online learning for them to return to campus and private residences.

The deans, directors and managers are to communicate the details of the phased return to their respective students and staff in the next few days once the details have been worked out, Delport said.

“The deans are working on detailed research prioritisation schedules as well as plans to ensure everyone’s safety in laboratories and research centres. Postgraduate and final-year students who need residence accommodation in order to return to their research will also be able to request assistance.

“Special health and safety measures, such as the compulsory wearing of masks, screening at entrances, social distancing and the availability of sanitisers, have been put in place.

“We also encourage students to make use of the self-monitoring health assessment application that has been made available online and on mobile phones.”

At Unisa, spokesperson Edgar Rathelele said that for now the university academic staff would also continue to work from home and a limited number of students would be allowed following discussions with the student leadership.

“We are making every endeavour to comply with regulations applicable to level 3.

“We will provide masks and sanitisers in the buildings, support the requisite screening efforts and schedule additional cleaning cycles.”

Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University spokesperson Dr Eric Pule said they had allowed the first batch of final-year medical students back on campus since May 20.

Pule said that by last week all final-year students were allowed to return to campus, but the university was in the process of acquiring gadgets and had a resolution to provide students with data.

As a precautionary measure, he said they were only granted access by ensuring they used the online mobile screening app the university launched in early May.

* For the latest on the Covid-19 outbreak, visit IOL's  #Coronavirus trend page.
** If you think you have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus, please call the 24-hour hotline on 0800 029 999 or visit sacoronavirus.co.za

Pretoria News

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