Article by: Dumisane Dube
The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Dr Blade Nzimande on Monday said that the 2021 academic year for tertiary institutions will resume after the release of matric results.
The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, gave an update on the plans for the reopening of the Post School Education and Training Institutions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“COVID-19 crisis is connected to a wider set of challenges, social inequality, climate change, technological disruptions and linked to all of the above of what one will call a crisis of the global capitalist system itself. COVID-19 has dominated our minds and hearts in the year 2020, and seems it will do the same this year.’’ Said Nzimande.
The Minister said they will be receiving an updated report of infections and fatalities on 20 January and should the reports indicate a spike in COVID-19 cases in institutions, those institutions will be closed down.
The Higher Education sector has so far recorded over 1,500 students who have tested positive for COVID-19, 48 staff members have died and 10 students succumbed to the virus.
“Some stakeholders are calling for us to reopen NSFAS, unfortunately we cannot do that. We are now focusing on screening for purposes of allocating for those who are successful” explains Nzimande.
Nzimande said universities across the country are set to reopen in mid-March and April and first year students will be afforded enough time to enroll for 2021.
“All institutions have aligned with the start of the 2021 academic year for first-time entries, with the availability of the Department of Basic Education’s National Senior Certificate exam results.”
According to Minister Nzimande the department would work closely with institutions in preparing the system for the opening.
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