Students boycott online learning at UJ: "How is it reasonable?"

Students boycott online learning at UJ: "How is it reasonable?"

- UJ's interim SRC has called for online learning and teaching to be suspended for the duration of the lockdown

- It resulted in #BoycottOnlineLearningUJ trending on Twitter as social media users voiced their views

- Many believed that online learning would be unfair and unreasonable towards those who do not have access to computers and the internet

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The University of Johannesburg's interim SRC has called on the higher education facility to halt online learning until the end of lockdown.

According to the SRC, online learning - which is scheduled to start on Monday - would be unfair towards students who do not have access to computers or internet.

They demanded that unless the university provides the necessary means to those students that the online learning and teaching be suspended until the lockdown ends at the end of the month.

A UJ student, @duma_siphokazi, shared the SRC's proposal on social media:

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Before long, #BoycottOnlineLearningUJ started trending on social media and students expressed their frustrations online.

eNCA reported on Friday that the university has since responded to the SRC's concerns on online learning and it appears that they will continue with their plans.

UJ's management assured students it was dedicated to addressing their concerns however they said remote teaching was "vital" during this hard period.

Dr Nolitha Vukuza said:

"These are difficult times for us all and many of our students are anxious about what is going to happen to their studies, whether they will graduate on time and so on. It is therefore vital that we embrace remote teaching and learning to help us minimise the time lost in the academic year."

Dr Vukuza added the university has been working with telecommunications companies to provide zero rates on UJ websites.

They have also looked at options to help students acquire the necessary devices and data for online learning.

Should the lockdown not be extended by President Cyril Ramaphosa, residence students would be allowed to return to sanitised residences.

In other education news, reported earlier the Department of Education has revealed that 367 schools have been vandalised or even torched since the beginning of the lockdown.

Spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga considers the situation a 'state of emergency' amid an already-fragile academic year. This comes after the department released tentative plans for schooling to resume once more.

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