Dear Staff and Students,
The transition of the country to Stage Three (3) of lockdown measures has presented an opportunity for the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) to address challenges faced by students who could not attend online classes such as lack of devices and connectivity limitations.
Taking into consideration these circumstances and the need for access to laboratories for some students before completing their semester one courses, NUST applied to the Ministry of Higher Education, Technology and Innovation for permission to resume face-to-face classes.
I am delighted to inform both students and faculty that we have received approval from the Ministry to resume face-to-face classes including practical work.
However, the resumption of face-to-face classes should always take place in strict observation of recommended Standard Health and Hygiene Guidelines. These include amongst others, having no more than 50 students per class/lecture group and observing social distancing protocols of at least 1.5 meters between persons at all times. As per the previous NUST communique, and in line with the health and safety protocols defined in the National Regulations and as directed by the Ministry of Health and Social Services, each person is also required to wear an appropriate facemask and hygiene interventions must be increased across all facilities on the Main Campus and ten (10) NUST Regional Centres.
In anticipation of this decision, NUST has ensured the campus is ready to start receiving students for face-to-face classes and laboratory work. However, due to the stringent nature of the Standard Healthy and Hygiene Guidelines for Stage Three (3) and the complexity of timetabling more class and laboratory groups, not all face-to-face sessions can start on 15 June 2020. As such, we have adopted a phased-return approach whereby students will return in smaller groups and not as an entire group. The earliest date that the university can open for students to return to campus using a phased approach is Monday 22 June 2020.
From next week, the affected students will be informed individually about when their faceto- face sessions will commence including details of how this will happen and the timetable, using our communication channels. Invited students will be required to practice strict social distancing, wear protective masks, maintain the highest hygiene practices possible and comply with all the measures set to keep the campus environment safe.
The implementation of this phased return for face-to-face sessions does not mean that the current emergency remote online teaching and learning will stop. Therefore, students who do not receive an invitation from the University to return to hostels, should please remain at home and continue to study as before through online remote learning.
May I take this opportunity to thank you, our dear students, for your patience, engagement and commitment to finding solutions to the challenges imposed on the nation and the world by the COVID-19 pandemic.