The aim is to save the academic year, but not at the expense of lives, Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande said.
Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande has made it unequivocally clear that it is his aim to save the academic year, but not at the expense of lives. It’s for this very reason that he announced on Thursday that South Africa’s students will not be returning to campus.
Nzimande said that his department would be implementing a risk-adjusted programme, and decided not to resume with campus-based academic activity, including all universities and TVET colleges. “The only acceptation will be controlled return of mainly medical students who will return under strict conditions,” he added.
The risks of returning to normal campus are simply too great and cannot function successfully, he claimed. “To be specific, our formal institution are made up of 2.5m students. Universities do not operate in a vacuum,” Nzimande claimed.
With the endorsement of the command council, it was decided that the current period from May 1 until SA moves into lower levels, tertiary institutions will use the period to put critical interventions in place.
– The development and implementation of effective multi-model remote learning systems, which will include digital, analogue and physical delivery of learning materials
– Higher Education and tertiary institutions are working hard to secure universal access deals with major mobile operators to secure data deals for students
– Higher Education will also be working to ensure students are provided with instructional materials, procurement and distribution of devices and laptops for all NSFAS-assisted students
– In this regard, the department would like to appeal to all students to urgently register correct numbers with their institutions
Nzimande assured the country that he is also securing also possible relief, stimulus or emergency funding for public institutions in distress.