2020 academic year remains on course: Nzimande

The 2020 academic year will likely only end in the new year, and the government has no plan of writing the year off, just yet. That’s according to Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande. Courtesy #DStv403

JOHANNESBURG - The 2020 academic year will not be written off, according to Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande, despite the possibility of only ending in 2021.

With just a third of the student population allowed to return to university campuses and delivery sites, questions continue to be asked about the future of the academic year.

Students who may be in the final year of their programmes and possibly on the verge of graduating have been given the go-ahead to return to universities.

COVID-19: 2020 tertiary academic year to be extended

Students who require access to laboratories or technical equipment or may need clinical training are also allowed to return to campus. 

Nzimande said they're not, yet, considering cancelling the academic or school year.

But there’s a warning to those who’ve already started abusing the available resources.

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“I remain unhappy about some of the reports I am getting, that some of the students are using data bundles we are giving them for downloading movies, and even disturbing undesirable content," Nzimande said.

"This data must be used for online educational reasons… the more you use this data for undesirable content, the further away you will be from your graduation gown.”

The leadership and management of universities have not been spared either.

Releasing two reports -- one on sexual harassment and gender-based violence in universities and another on hindrances to the academic progression of black South African academics -- Nzimande said action must be taken.


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