All of the student body at Universities and TVET Colleges are now allowed to return to campuses as we observe Lockdown Level 1. As exam season comes up, protocols will now need to be followed as students write their exams.
The country’s move to level 1, the Department says will “amplify personal interaction and requires continued vigilance and specific precautions to ensure the PSET is protected from cluster outbreaks and does not contribute to new waves of infection”.
Events such as exams which will see large groups of students in various venues sit down therefore poses a risk in terms of Covid infections and safety protocols would assist in avoiding this.
Protocols which the Department with HIGHER HEALTH has put into place for exams are as follows:
Before the exam, exam venues and materials will be prepared and invigilators will be trained
During the exam, safety will have to be maintained
After the exam, exam materials will need to managed safely
Safety measures which will be in place in exam venues are:
Ensuring venues are ventilated
Distancing needs to be observed
Hand hygiene needs to be followed
Additional invigilators will be trained
Health screening of all
Venues will be regularly cleaned
Timetables will be managed correctly
Masks need to be worn
HealthCheck self-assessment tool will be used
Minister in charge of Higher Education, Blade Nzimande, said:
HIGHER HEALTH has been developing programmes, systems and controls related to the pandemic through the establishment of guidelines, protocols, research and capacity building across our sector. These are grounded in the growing body of science and latest epidemiological data
Nzimande has said that the proper adherence to the protocols would lead to the examinations being managed successfully. He also encouraged students and staff to continue to use the HIGHER HEALTH HealthCheck, a free digital screening tool that was tailor-made for the higher education sector and “acts as a daily health passport”.
Should students or staff experience feelings of anxiety and stress, they are encouraged to use the HIGHER HEALTH mental health 24/7 toll-free crisis helpline at 0800 36 36 36.
The Department also stated that:
Over 13 000 frontline staff and 3 200 student volunteers have been trained and capacitated to assist with screenings, education, referrals and other aspects of the daily risk-mitigation across campuses.
In addition to this, other comprehensive guidelines have been prepared and stipulated. This includes being able to manage any cluster outbreaks at Universities and TVET Colleges.
The Department has also launched 10 mobile clinic units which are fully furnished which they say will be used to enhance health services and provide primary healthcare at underserved TVET, CET colleges and university campuses.
Read the statement from the Department here.
The more you understand yourself, the more silence there is, the healthier you are. —Maxime Lagacé