UJ’s online learning decision met with virtual protest

The university announced that the second term would start on Monday.
The University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) decision to resort to online learning has been met with a virtual protest by students.

The university announced that the second term would start on Monday, but online due to the coronavirus virus. The announcement was followed by outrage on social media – with students saying that online education is unaffordable.

A student from Malamulele in Limpopo says data and network coverage are the main issues of contention.

“So far I have spent R800 from the first of April until now, that’s how much I’ve spent on data. The problem is the network because I’m using Telkom and here at home, there’s no coverage. The thing that will affect my online learning is network because we really do not have network here in the rural areas.”

Wits gives laptops to students

Wits University, also in Johannesburg, has made available 5 000 laptops to assist students as the institution gears up to resume classes on Monday. The institution is also switching to remote online learning due to COVID-19.

The university closed for its mid-term break in March, four days earlier than scheduled to minimise the risk of spreading the coronavirus.

A student had tested positive for the virus and was subsequently placed under quarantine.

Wits says they have spent the past few weeks adapting their academic programme to go online.

This has happened largely through the university’s learning management systems to develop additional resources for remote learning and in preparing to host the sites online.