Image: Adobe Stock
As South Africa enters lockdown Level 2, students not yet back on campus are asking the government to open public libraries.
Image: Adobe Stock
Students have reacted to the easing of some lockdown regulations as the country enters lockdown Level 2 by calling on the South African government to open public libraries in particular.
Some students feel that it would be easier to adapt to online learning if public libraries were to open as these generally have a reliable internet connection so students can use their WiFi.
Not only this, they also have physical books that are sometimes not available in their institution’s online libraries.
Books are also not necessarily loaded on the devices that the Minister of Higher Education and Training Dr Blade Nzimande had promised students.
KwaZulu-Natal student Graduate Ngcobo, who lives in the rural area of Umzumbe, said remote learning has cost her a lot of money.
“Since the beginning of lockdown, I have spent a lot of money travelling to town so that I can get better internet access,” said the second-year journalism student. She needs this for research and “so that I can send my assignments to my lecturers”.
“I am certain we would pass our assignments with flying colours because we would’ve used information from trusted websites, reliable sources together with fact-checking and plagiarism-checking software,” Ngcobo adds.
Final-year electrical engineering student Nokwazi Nzuza also said opening libraries would help a lot of students.
“Home is not a very conducive environment to study in,” Nzuza added.
“The library is a very quiet place with WiFi and other useful resources for academic purposes. Students can be productive in such an environment,” Nzuza said.
BEd postgraduate student Nosipho Ndlovu feels the government has given entertainment precedence over education.
“It seems like the government is opening everything that is leisure and entertainment related. Why not prioritise education as well?” Ndlovu asked.
“I urge the government to open libraries so that we can try and salvage what’s left of our academics. We have suffered enough already and the low marks we have been scoring are evident.”
Nzimande previously announced that under lockdown Level 2, up to two-thirds of students will return to campus.
This would enable teaching, learning and assessment for a larger group than in Level Three, when only one-third of the student body was allowed on campus.
The following are expected to return to campus:
Nzimande is yet to brief the nation on more specific plans for academic activities under lockdown Level 2.
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