‘So far so good’. That is the sentiment from all the Faculty Deans. All classes are running smoothly and the Deans feel they are all on track. “Printing of material is a challenge and that is being attended to. The idea is to ensure that those students without the gadgets are able to receive learning material as well,” said the deans.
The resumption of classes is a product of long-term planning and all MUT stakeholders have partnered to deliver a safe and effective environment where students can continue to learn while observing safety precautions.
The students themselves have responded in their numbers to an invitation by the University to come back to campus and complete the academic year. As they enter the gate in the morning, and while on campus, students are seen observing all the necessary protocols; they wear masks, and sanitise their hands. Stations are all the place. Also, students observe the social distance as they catch up with their friends. The new normal is sinking in.
Nozibusiso Zulu, an S3 Civil Engineering student, said they were still finding it a bit odd that they could not interact with their friends as they used to, and that they can no longer have study groups. However, she said, “having smaller groups gives us a chance to concentrate in class. We are requesting that the lecture be an hour at least; 40 minutes is not enough as we attend one module a week, and that we now attend fewer days,’ said Nozibusiso.
Lecturers have also been proactive. Where social distancing seemed hard to implement, the lecturers have begun to use some of the venues not yet in use to create more space.