HIGHER Education Minister, Dr Blade Nzimande, has applauded the University of Zululand’s (Unizulu) progressive efforts to salvage and successful manoeuvre the 2020 academic year, while ensuring all Covid-19 health and safety protocols are followed at KwaDlangezwa and Richards Bay Campuses.
Dr Nzimande was speaking during an oversight visit to the KwaDlangezwa campus last week, to monitor the implementation of safety measures, particularly in the student residences.
The university is among a number of institutions which began receiving students and employees back to campuses under Level 3 of the lockdown.
‘We are likely to finish the academic year around March next year, and I am very pleased that the university will be in line with this target, or even ahead for some students,’ said Dr Nzimande.
‘This shows the university is committed to saving the academic year. This is a daunting task when you are trying to balance saving lives and sustainable livelihoods, because the academic year is the future livelihood for our graduates.’
The minister applauded the formation of a Covid-19 task team, the delivery of study material to students, as well as efforts to monitor the remote participation of students undertaking academic activities.
Unizulu is taking extra precautions and utmost diligence in ensuring compliant measuare is in place in preparation for more students returning to campuses, amid peak infection rates across the country.
The institution, which has already been receiving final-year Nursing Science students, said it will, in the coming weeks, prioritise the return of 30 final-year Management Information Systems students; postgraduates in the Faculty of Commerce, Administration and Law; and postgraduate students who are in the final phases of their laboratory experiments.
‘The university wishes to reiterate that, while it is committed to the return of optimal numbers of students to campus, this process must be guided by prevailing national guidelines and realities,’ said University of Zululand Vice Chancellor, Professor Mtose.
The remaining students will continue to receive lectures through various platforms, including online and delivery of USB’s and hard copies. Students data has been rolled out as well to ensure that students have access and can submit their work materials.