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News - Date: 30 May 2020
Written by: Ndivhuwo Musetha / Viewed: 4960
The University of Venda is busy preparing to welcome back students on campus.
From Monday, 1 June, Univen will start the process of accommodating 127 nursing science students as directed by Education Minister Blade Nzimande when the country was going into level four of the Covid-19 alert.
However, university spokesperson Dr Takalani Dzaga says they will struggle to accommodate all final-year students and those who will need to use laboratories because they must still go through a certain process.
“The minister just made an announcement on Saturday, 23 May, that we must cater for all final-year students and those who must use laboratories. At first, we thought we were supposed to cater for those who are in clinical sciences, which is nursing sciences to us.
“Even before this new pronouncement, we were struggling to make provision for these 127 nursing students. As a university, we have indicated that we will need two to three weeks to be ready for these students who are doing their final year and those who need to use laboratories,” says Dzaga.
Dzaga adds that the university was still busy registering students for this academic year when the country went into lockdown. “The process of registering these students was delayed for various reasons. On Monday, we must make sure that we finalise the process of registering them. What we know is that these students who still need to be registered are not more than 1000.
“We are still going to see how we can accommodate our students in classes. Some of the classes will have to be divided into two or three groups, depending on the size of the classes. We will also have to re-arrange the timetables,” says Dzaga.
Dzaga says they have advertised positions of part-time teaching assistants that will be filled by post-graduates from within the campus. He says staff from different categories will start to come onto the campus on Monday, while students will be quarantined for 14 days outside the campus. “After being quarantined, students will be allowed inside the campus where they will be accommodated while they continue with their academic programme,” says Dzaga.
Since 13 May, Univen has been screening all staff members who coming to campus. Those who had Covid-19 symptoms were referred for testing, but their results came back negative.
Since April, the University has been busy with on-line teaching. By last week, more than 10 000 of registered students were participating in the on-line teaching programme.
Dzaga says only some students could not participate because of a lack of data or connectivity challenges. He says lecturers who wanted teaching aids to use for on-line teaching have already collected them from the campus as they are working from home.
Besides sanitising students’ residences, lecture rooms and offices, Univen is going to provide two recyclable masks to all staff and students who will be on campus.
Dr Takalani Dzaga.