NMU academic activities to continue in wake of coronavirus

Nelson Mandela University. File photo
Nelson Mandela University. File photo
Image: Nelson Mandela University / Facebook

While several SA universities have chosen to close in the wake of coronavirus, Nelson Mandela University have opted to go ahead with its usual activities.

On Sunday night, after President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement on travel bans and the shutting of schools from Wednesday, among other measures, NMU management shared a statement Facebook urging students to attend all classes on Monday.

Please note that the President’s announcement on Sunday evening that gatherings of more than 100 people will be...

Posted by Nelson Mandela University on Sunday, 15 March 2020

The post read: “Please note that the president’s announcement on Sunday evening that gatherings of more than 100 people will be prohibited applies to public gatherings and not to academic activities.

“So, all classes, tests, laboratory sessions, practicals and experiential learning activities will continue as normal.

“As the week of March 16 is the start of our second term, students are encouraged to make a special effort to attend all academic activities.”

Asked why the university has decided to continue with academic activities, NMU spokesperson Zandile Mbabela said management was still in talks regarding the situation.

“The university has noted the government’s measures regarding the COVID-19 global pandemic as announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa [on Sunday] night.

“We will issue a statement on campus-specific measures in due course,” she said.

Elsewhere in the Eastern Cape, all lectures, tests and exams were suspended at Rhodes University in Makhanda from Monday until further notice.

Consultations with all university constituencies and the health ministry would be held to decide the way forward, the university said on its website.

Rhodes had formed a coronavirus response task team to address challenges that might arise should there be a suspected or confirmed case at the institution, and to develop and implement an action plan to respond to risks of the virus, the university added.

Other universities which have confirmed an immediate halt to academic activities include Wits, the University of Johannesburg and the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

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