Rhodes University needs help to make online transition possible

THINKING DIFFERENTLY: Rhodes University is reaching out to help its students and staff continue the academic year
THINKING DIFFERENTLY: Rhodes University is reaching out to help its students and staff continue the academic year
Image: SUPPLIED

Rhodes University has turned to its alumni, business and the public for help to mobilise resources to ensure successful completion of the 2020 academic year.

With the forced closure of the campus and cessation of all contact teaching and learning, a shortage of online learning facilities and connectivity has emerged as a serious threat for many of the university students and some of its teaching staff.

“One of our most serious short-term challenge is accessing laptops for students who do not have these and to respond to their other connectivity requirements.

“It is a huge challenge and one that we could not foresee,” director for communication and advancement, Luzuko Jacobs, said.

“We have to get our academic project going as best we can in the circumstances and to keep our quality.

“We also know that, given the experience of other countries and the need to adhere to physical distancing, it might not be possible in the short term to return to in-person teaching.

“In the midst of all the uncertainty we have a duty to adapt our teaching and learning arrangements to ensure that our students are able to continue with their studies.

“We are gearing up for a major and quick transition into digital/online delivery of teaching and learning,” he said.

Jacobs said the university was aware of the challenges any switch in strategy created — especially in a society fraught with inequality and poverty.

“Our appeal to our alumni, corporate SA and members of the public is for help financially, or in-kind, to mitigate the exclusionary impact of our country’s socio-economic situation,” he added.

Jacobs said anyone who could be of assistance should send an e-mail to Development@ru.ac.za.

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