Dear: Parents and Students
Since the announcement of the first positive case of the COVID-19 virus in South Africa, we have been following the situation closely. Looking into the future, we are in the process of evaluating the impact the virus will have on the academic year and our institution as a whole, while keeping the health of our students and staff our highest priority.
We received a letter from the Minister of Higher Education and Training on Tuesday 17 March 2020, demanding all public and private post-school institutions to close for early recess and that all students are sent home with effect from 18 March 2020. In compliance, we took the proactive decision to already suspend all classes and assessments on Monday 16 March. We will also be closing our residences on Friday 20 March and have requested that all residence students vacate their rooms by this time.
As it stands, we are hoping to reopen and resume classes on 14 April 2020. However, the global developments show no indication that the pandemic will be over soon, nor that life will resume as normal. The COVID-19 virus is most likely going to be around for a while, requiring the Government to keep implementing certain measures to limit the spread.
Our entire faculty and technical staff are preparing online classes, if needed, to ensure that we are able to resume classes on time. We intend to make use of Microsoft Teams over Canvas. This tool will provide our students with the same dedicated attention and interactive experience as our contact classes do, by allowing them to communicate with their lecturers and their peers virtually. Further logistical details will be communicated in due time.
We would like to assure students and parents that the decisions we are taking are in compliance with Government’s measures and in the interest of all involved. We encourage everyone to stay safe and follow the necessary precautions as outlined by the World Health Organization to mitigate the spread of the virus. This includes the following:
- Limit social interaction;
- Maintain social distancing, maintain at least 1 metre distance between yourself and anyone else at all times;
- Not shake hands or hug;
- Take extra care of personal hygiene, particularly the practice of hand-hygiene;
- Practise respiratory hygiene, this means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze;
- Self-quarantine if you show any flu-like-, cold- or similar respiratory symptoms such as cough. You are required to practice self-quarantine and inform the authorities’ helpline immediately on 0800029999 and inform Belgium Campus iTversity.