First year University students will now be heading back to campuses as they are allowed to under Lockdown Level 2.
In May, Blade Nzimande, Minister of Higher Education announced in a media briefing that all first year students will return to campuses during Level 2. Now, the time has come and these students will finally get to go back. First year students have definitely been robbed of the University experience their seniors had and have had something completely different.
According to the Government Gazette:
Once again, a two week period will be given to allow students to travel back to their campuses
This two week period will also allow institutions to make sure that their campuses are effectively ready to have more students back.
Under level 2, a further 33% of students will return which means at this point, 66% of students will have returned.
This additional 33% would include, along with level 3 & 4 students:
- Students from all years of study who require labs and technical equipment
- Students from all years of study who need practical and work-based training and learning to finish the academic year
- All first years of undergraduate programmes
Institutions are allowed to consider other categories of students to return to residences. These students must not have good conditions for online learning to take place such as difficulties in their living environments. However, students who were directed to return in the groups mentioned previously must first be considered and allowed to come back.
The responsibility then lies on the shoulders of the institution to make sure all premises students will be on to be cleaned and safe. Students also have the responsibility to follow the safety protocols.
The Department of Higher Education and the Department of Health have been working to ensure campuses are ready for students to come back. This entails having masks ready, setting rules for physical distancing as well as having screening in place at multiple points.
Students who aren’t returning will continue their multi-modal learning at home until their time comes to be allowed on campuses.
100% of students will return two weeks after President Ramaphosa announces Lockdown Level 1. All 1st year students, in all undergraduate programs will return under level 2. And that they will be top priority under level 2. Refer the government Gazzate.
Posted by South African Union of Students