Call to suspend online learning at UJ

File: The University of Johannesburg plans to begin online activities on Monday.

File: The University of Johannesburg plans to begin online activities on Monday.

Wikimedia Commons

* Editor's note: This article has been edited to reflect UJ's statement.

JOHANNESBURG - The University of Johannesburg's interim SRC wants the institution to suspend online learning and teaching during the lockdown.

The university plans to begin online activities on Monday but the SRC has said many students do not have access to devices or the internet.

It also says many students live in conditions not conducive to learning.

The council says this will lead to poor performance and academic exclusion.

READ: Wits goes online from Monday

It proposes that either the winter recess be shortened or the September break cancelled.

The university has responded to the concerns raised by the interim SRC, saying they have been carefully considered by the relevant structures of the university management.

"These are difficult times for us all and many of our students are anxious about what is going to happen to their studies, whether they will graduate on time and so on. It is therefore vital that we embrace remote teaching and learning to help us minimise the time lost in the academic year," Dr Nolitha Vukuza responded.

The university management has stated they are committed to addressing the students concerns "as far as is reasonably possible".

Vukuza said UJ is working closely with telecommunications companies to provide zero rates on UJ websites to assist staff and students as well as exploring possibilities to assist students with acquiring devices and data, where necessary.

The university management communicated that once lockdown conditions are lifted, residence students will be allowed to return to residences that will be sanitised.

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