Rescheduling of the resumption of teaching and learning online

Dear UP Community

As we find ourselves in this unprecedented time in our history caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Pretoria (UP) continues to seek innovative ways to ensure that we proceed with the academic programme. We previously announced that we will continue with teaching and learning online from 20 April. At the same time, we will endeavour to ensure that no student will be disadvantaged in the process.

We have managed to make considerable progress over a short period of time in terms of arranging for connectivity for students and acquiring internet-enabled devices. Owing to supply and delivery issues resulting from the current lockdown, and the fact that universities had not yet been declared essential services for purposes of delivery of IT equipment, the delivery of devices has been delayed.

While we have been able to procure some devices, we do not yet have enough for the number of students who are in need. Our task team is working around the clock with all parties involved to secure more devices as soon as possible. This is a nationwide issue and one that most educational institutions are currently struggling with.

To ensure we provide everyone with fair access and our lecturers enough time to prepare, we are therefore rescheduling our plans to go online until we are able to provide qualifying students with the necessary equipment. It is important to ensure we have spent enough time and put in all efforts we can to prepare well.

At this stage, we are hoping to have most of the deliveries completed by 30 April 2020. We would then resume teaching and learning online on Monday 4 May 2020. We are also making arrangements to ensure that this does not impact the rest of the academic programme. More information regarding this will follow soon.

After the extended lockdown, we will abide by any easing-down regulations and guidelines relevant to universities that the government may issue.

I know that this is not an easy time, and many people find it difficult to cope with the uncertainty. I apologise for the inconvenience and thank you for your understanding as we go through this challenging time together. I ask that you remain resilient and patient as we work to ensure that teaching and learning online resumes as soon as possible.

The success and well-being of our students are our priority. We are committed to providing our students with the necessary support to ensure their success and to do everything possible to make sure that no student is left at a disadvantage.

Please continue to check our website or follow us on UP’s official social media platforms for updates and more information.

Warm regards,

Prof Tawana Kupe

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