The new Covid-19 University Experience

DURBAN – As the South African economy reopens during the Covid-19 pandemic, many tertiary institutions are taking precautionary measures in order to reopen. However, no reopening dates have been announced by the national government or universities.

Blade Nzimande Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology said that university students will return to campus through a phased-in approach. Many universities throughout the country have resumed their courses via online teaching and provided students with data to access their lectures and course material.

Level 4 of the national lockdown allowed final year students that required on hands practical training, e.g. medical and science faculties, to resume on-campus lectures. Level 3 allowed a third of the student body to return to campus, this included those that needed access to laboratory or technical equipment and students that would graduate in 2020.

As the lockdown regulations ease, more students would be able to attend campus under strict hygiene protocols. Sanitisers would be provided on campus and there will be stickers to indicate where students would be allowed to sit or stand. Students that would be on campus premises would require a permit to be on campus. This will ensure that various campus authorities would able to track which students are required to be on campus on a specific day.

Students would be required to perform a self-screening process via WhatsApp, daily. They are required to message “Hi” to 060-011-0000 which is the number for Higher Health and is powered by DHET. A drop-down menu will pop on the screen and students would be required to answer the questions. After answering the questions students will receive a sticker. If a student does not answer these questions, they would not be allowed to enter the campus.

 

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