The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Dr Blade Nzimande, gives a briefing on progress in the implementation of COVID-19 measures.
This follows a briefing that was held on the 23rd of May in which he briefed the media on issues affecting NSFAS allowances, SETA’s stipends and the phased return of students and Higher Health.
Nzimande took an opportunity to congratulate Higher Health for launching HealthCheck – a purpose-built daily screening and monitoring tool using one’s cell phone, to be used in all our Post School Education and Training Institutions. It is available in various platforms including USSD, WhatsApp or simple Weebased. One does not need to have a smart-phone. You can use any device to access the HealthCheck.
HealthCheck is secured to use by students and staff entering our campuses daily to self-check their body temperature, and will link such data to the tracking system of the Department of Health.
All students and staff – approximately two million people – will be required to register for HealthCheck and use it every day to assess their own level of risk prior to entering campuses.
The minister fired shots at the Democratic Alliance (DA) saying "it seems some of them can't read." He's responding to allegations leveled by the party that the minister plans to scrap some Nsafas student's debt.
He said the allegations made by the DA had been exposed as false and NSFAS Administrator, Dr. Randall Carollisen, clearly stated that the R1.96bn referred to by Prof Bozzoli is actually irregular expenditure that arose when the previous board applied unspent historic debt from 2016 and 2017 to fund NSFAS qualifying students in 2018.
Nzimande said all other students will be supported through remote teaching and assessment methods until it is safe to return to campus.
“I would like to emphasise that we recognise that some institutions may identify other groups of students in line with their particular contexts for their return to campus. However, any deviation from this criterion must be approved by my Department and must fall within the maximum of 33% of the student population.”
All institutions must follow the national guidelines regarding the numbers that can be accommodated in residences, “to enable physical distancing, the handling of communal spaces, hygiene requirements and dining hall arrangements.”
Watch the briefing is below:
Courtesy of SABC.