The University of Cape Town (UCT) has started the second week of remote teaching. We want to acknowledge your work and the fact that all of this is taking place under complex personal circumstances.
In terms of our students, we keep monitoring their participation on Vula to identify those who might need extra help. Students who are not engaging with their work need to be contacted to identify the obstacles in their way and hopefully remove as many of those obstacles as possible.
The main concern of the past week has been the slow delivery of laptops to identified students, the distribution of which is currently scheduled for completion by Friday, 8 May. The UCT executive met with the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) to discuss the anxieties that this delay has been causing for students who are expected to submit work for their courses or write tests.
The university would like to appeal to everyone, as people, to be compassionate in our approach to students. Please be flexible in managing deadlines for those students who will only be joining your courses from Monday, 11 May. We are also hoping to start with the delivery of distance learning materials by Monday, 11 May.
As Term 2 progresses, faculties are starting to discuss assessment in the context of remote teaching. The Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT) is working with faculty-based teaching and learning teams to support decisions about modalities of assessment.
For those of you who would like to slowly start thinking of the work ahead, you can get help from CILT to review your current courses to help improve you and your students’ experience in Term 3.
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Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a global pandemic that caused President Cyril Ramaphosa to declare a national disaster in South Africa on 15 March. This was followed by the implementation of a national lockdown, which has been in effect since midnight on 26 March and has recently been extended to 30 April. The intention of this drastic measure is to “flatten the curve” and contain the spread of the coronavirus to enable healthcare workers to more effectively treat those affected.
UCT is taking the threat of infection in our university community extremely seriously, and this page will be updated regularly with the latest COVID-19 information.
Getting credible, evidence-based, accessible information and recommendations relating to COVID-19
The Department of Medicine at the University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital, are producing educational video material for use on digital platforms and in multiple languages. The information contained in these videos is authenticated and endorsed by the team of experts based in the Department of Medicine. Many of the recommendations are based on current best evidence and are aligned to provincial, national and international guidelines. For more information on UCT’s Department of Medicine, please visit the website.
To watch more videos like these, visit the Department of Medicine’s YouTube channel.
As the COVID-19 crisis drags on and evolves, civil society groups are responding to growing and diversifying needs – just when access to resources is becoming more insecure, writes UCT’s Prof Ralph Hamann.03 Jul 2020 - 6 min read Republished
The Covid-19 crisis has reinforced the global consequences of fragmented, inadequate and inequitable healthcare systems and the damage caused by hesitant and poorly communicated responses.24 Jun 2020 - >10 min read Opinion
Our scientists must not practise in isolation, but be encouraged to be creative and increase our knowledge of the needs of developing economies, write Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, vice-chancellor of UCT, and Professor Thokozani Majozi from the University of the Witwatersrand.09 Jun 2020 - 6 min read Republished
South Africa has been recognised globally for its success in flattening the curve, which came as a result of President Ramaphosa responding quickly to the crisis, writes Prof Alan Hirsch.28 Apr 2020 - 6 min read Republished
In an email to the UCT community, Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng said:
“COVID-19, caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2, is a rapidly changing epidemic. [...] Information [...] will be updated as and when new information becomes available.”
We are continuing to monitor the situation and we will be updating the UCT community regularly – as and when there are further updates. If you are concerned or need more information, students can contact the Student Wellness Service on 021 650 5620 or 021 650 1271 (after hours), while staff can contact 021 650 5685.