The University of Witwatersrand has announced that the university has closed for its mid-term break, four days earlier than scheduled to minimise the risk of spreading the coronavirus.
A medical student at the university has tested positive for the virus and is in quarantine.
Wits Vice-Chancellor Adam Habib says, “What we need to do is to act as a community. If we do so we will be able to minimise the impact on our academic programme and us as a university community. This is the challenge that is facing us and I’m sure we will all rise to the challenge.”
Meanwhile, the University of Johannesburg has suspended all contact classes, tests and practicals.
Teaching and learning will continue via online platforms.
All autumn graduation ceremonies have been suspended and students will be issued with digital certificates.
Students’ union calls for shut down of universities and colleges
The South African Union of Students (SAUS) has called on all universities and other institutions such as TVET Colleges to immediately close to avoid putting students at risk of contracting.
Some institutions, including Wits University, the University of Johannesburg, KwaZulu-Natal have already temporarily cancelled all classes and tests.
This comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa declared the coronavirus outbreak a national disaster on Sunday night.
In the video below, President Ramaphosa addresses the nation on cabinet plans over coronavirus:
62 confirmed cases have now been reported in the country.
As the number of continues to rise across the country, the South African Union of Students (SAUS) has made a clarion call to all universities and institutions of higher learning to shut their doors, until further notice.
SAUS says this is the only way to ensure that students aren’t at risk of contracting the virus. Spokesperson Thabo Shingange says they are concerned as a union.
In the video below, we take a look at the impact of coronavirus on higher learning: