At a meeting of the Executive Management held on 6 January 2021 deliberations were held on the resumption of academic activities and the returning of students, given the Lockdown Level 3 regulations. Dr Manyane Makua, Acting Vice-Chancellor and Principal, said that after careful consideration, the University Executive Management resolved that it was going to continue with the platoon system as originally conceptualized. Dr Makua said that this time more emphasis would be placed on blended learning to conclude the remainder of the 2020 academic year.
“Faculties will determine how these approaches will be implemented and monitored to ensure the efficient completion of the academic programme,” said Dr Makua. The EMC also concluded that data would be provided to students and staff until the end of the current academic year; and that the University would reopen for teaching and learning activities on Monday, 11 January 2021 on a staggered basis as follows:
Faculty of Management Sciences:
First and Second year students will commence with academic activities on 11 January 2021;
First year students will finalise outstanding assessments on 11- 15 January 2021 and thereafter leave for home, and
Third and fourth year students will return on 20 January 2021 to prepare for examinations which commence on 25 January 2021; and
The Advanced Diploma students in this faculty will receive communication from the heads of departments.
Faculty of Engineering:
First Year, S1, Pre Tech and ECP students will return on 15 February 2021 to 12 March 2021 when examinations conclude;
S3, S4 and Advanced Diploma students will return on 11 January 2021 to 12 February 2021 for their final examinations.
First Year and Second year students from Quantity Surveying, S1, S2, Pre Tech and ECP students will return on 15 February 2021 to 12 March 2021 to conclude all assessment;
Third year quantity surveying, S3, S4 and Advanced Diploma students will return on 11 January 2021 to 12 February 2021 in preparation for their final examinations to commence on the 15th of February.
Faculty of Natural Sciences:
ECP, First and Second year students will return on 11 January 2021 to 15 February 2021;
Third year, Advanced Diploma, Post Graduate Diploma and Masters students are not required to be on campus as they will work on-line. Exit level students with outstanding practicals will be informed by their respective heads of departments on when to return to conclude these activities.
Dr Makua said that the schedule was intended to ensure the orderly and safe return of students to residences. “Affected students are encouraged to return as advised as acceptance to residences will be based on this schedule,” said Dr Makua.
The EMC spent some time on health-related issues, as they were “life and death”, given the Covid-19 situation. The Management of the Institution said that in cases where students would be required to be physically present on campus, the platoon system would be used, and that all safety protocols would be enforced, including the compulsory wearing of masks. Dr Makua said that Management would monitor the provision of health and safety issues with a view to continuous improvement. “To this extent all facilities that require urgent maintenance and repairs are being attended to as a matter of priority,” he said.