South Africa’s final year university students would return to class under the country’s Level 3 coronavirus lockdown in June, Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister Blade Nzimande, has announced.Nzimande said this when he briefed the media on his response to the government’s risk-adjusted strategy aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus pandemic on Saturday.
According to the minister, the re-opening of universities would be done in phases, with 33 percent of the students at first, to ensure that there was adequate physical distancing at the hosting institutions.
“Should Level 3 be announced to begin on 15 June, the students would study for two to three weeks only and then return home.
“Thereafter, the students would be recalled to their campuses and institutions to ensure that the facilities are effectively prepared for their return,” he.
Nzimande said that once Level 2 was announced, a further 33 percent would be allowed on campus – till Level 1 when all students will be allowed to return to their classes.
Despite their absence from classes, the students have had access to lessons through systems developed for them online under the lockdown, the minister said.
“All public universities have developed detailed strategies for remote multi-modal teaching and learning during the period of the current lockdown.
“As I have indicated before, institutions have developed their detailed institutional plans, as each institution is unique and we cannot follow a one-size-fits-all approach.
“Each institution has committed to ensuring that all students are given a fair opportunity to complete the academic year 2020.
“We are working closely with all universities to ensure the implementation of this commitment,” he said.