The Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) has decided to suspend all its face-to-face learning in an attempt to suppress the spread of Covid-19, and classes will be offered online until further notice.
NUST has recorded 103 (32 students and 71 staff) Covid-19 cases on campus. Among them, 67 have recovered.
The university’s latest statistics
indicate that two people who have contracted the Covid-19 virus, lost their lives thus far. The active Covid-19 cases stand at 34.
NUST yesterday announced that due to the increase in Covid-19 cases, the blended teaching and learning approach which the university adopted earlier this year, has been revisited.
“With immediate effect, all face-to-face classes are suspended, and classes will be offered online until further notice. It must be noted that the bulk of teaching activities for the first semester have already been concluded. Therefore, a minimal interruption to the university’s operations is anticipated,” said NUST spokesperson, Kaitira Kandjii.
In cases where face-to-face teaching and/or practical lab sessions are still required to successfully conclude the current semester, permission needs to be granted from management.
However, NUST says the continuous face-to-face testing and assessment schedules for the rest of the first semester remain as is, and should be adhered to accordingly.
“This is to ensure that students’ identities can be verified, and to avoid academic misconduct. This arrangement is further necessitated to ensure compliance with the regulatory bodies that accredit the university’s qualifications. Despite the circumstances, quality must be upheld at all times, and this must not be comprised,” said Kandjii.
Moreover, all students who test positive for Covid-19 are entitled to request to write special assessments. This permission must be sought from their respective lecturer and head of department, as per the NUST general information and regulations. In this regard, a medical certificate should be presented.
Virtual meetings are encouraged, where possible. If not, contact meetings of 50 or fewer attendees will be allowed, where necessary, following the appropriate social distancing, sanitising and correct wearing of masks. NUST furthermore stated that face-to-face tests and assessments are permitted as stated in terms of S 29(1) of the Public and Environmental Health Act, 2015.
This provides for permission in circumstances such as where “the gathering is for purposes of the provision of
education and training at early childhood development centres, schools or higher education institutions.”
The university has vowed to continue to be vigilant in this regard, and has put in place safety protocols in line with the national health regulations.