Phased return of students at UL begins on 29 June

Final-year students and other identified groups of students who require laboratories and essential resources for their studies will return to campus in a coordinated phased approach from 29 June

This was announced by the University of Limpopo (UL)’s Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Prof Mahlo Mokgalong during an onsite visit on Friday, 19 June 2020 by the Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation - Buti Manamela, and the Limpopo MEC for Health Dr Phophi Ramathuba to assess the institution’s readiness and measures implemented to contain the spread of Covid-19.

After a campus walkabout with the Deputy Minister and the MEC, Prof Mokgalong told the media that all the requisite preparations were in place for the safe return of students and staff. This follows President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement that higher education institutions may allow not more than one-third of the total university community to return to campus as the country entered into lockdown level 3.

“We are all trying to fight the pandemic and we will be welcoming back the first group of students on campus on the 29th of June,” Prof Mokgalong announced, emphasising that the university’s facilities - health, accommodation and lecture halls will not compromise the wellbeing and safety of students and staff.

“Our facilities are safe. We are going to first bring back students conducting clinical or practical work. The second phase will be final-year students,” he said. Prof Mokgalong added that the pandemic has made everyone to be anxious but he urged students not to panic and follow precautionary health measures to ensure the safe reopening of the campus.

The Deputy Minister’s visit culminated in a handover of laptops to needy students as the university has resumed with its academic calendar online. “We have already started assisting students who are engaging in the Multimodal Remote Teaching and Learning online. We are distributing laptops and data and their lecturers are sending through notes on Blackboard. We will also provide a catch-up period for those who lagged behind,” he said. 

The UL SRC President, Nicodemus Mojela  welcomed the distribution of laptops as a validation that the university would not leave any student behind. He said that “we have seen trucks coming in to deliver laptops to ensure that our students have appropriate learning devices to complete the academic year.”

A final-year BA Communication Studies student, Cynthia Magagula was delighted to receive a laptop, saying she was more than grateful and that nothing would stop her from progressing with her studies while at home. “I didn’t believe it when they called to inform me about receiving the laptop and, finally, I got one. Last year, I lost my gadget which assisted me in studying, so this laptop is what I needed the most,” she remarked. 

Phylistas Malatji, a final-year BA Criminology and Psychology student, is also rearing to go online. “Firstly, I received data from the university and now a laptop. I can’t wait to engage on the e-learning programme and complete my qualification,” he commented excitedly.

Date created:2020-06-23 17:48:05