Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology Buti Manamela has lambasted Wits University, University of Cape Town and University of Johannesburg after the institutions announced they would resume classes this week using remote online learning and teaching methods.
Manamela on Sunday described the decisions by the three institutions as ‘irresponsible’ and ‘inconsiderate’.
“For @WitsUniversity and others to insist on resuming academic programmes ONLINE tomorrow even when some students will be left behind, and after agreement with all stakeholders to work towards a later date when we are all ready, is irresponsible and inconsiderate,” said Manamela on his official Twitter account.
He added: “Yes, universities have autonomy, but this does not legitimize turning them into fiefdoms that disregard national consensus so as to serve the interest of a few. If answers can’t be given on how students who can’t study online will be covered, then why continue? “
“The principles are clear. No institution should be left behind. No student should be left behind. Students who have no study gadgets or internet connectivity should not be treated as though they are the cause of #Covid_19. We will ensure that we take all students along.”
Inside Education has conducted interviews with vice-chancellors of all the three institutions and they were adamant that the online learning and teaching was the right decision given the current situation.
Watch out for the full interviews later on Inside Education.