Cape Times

CPUT has finger on pulse of infection rate

- DR GARTH VAN GENSEN | Director: Marketing and Communicat­ion at CPUT

A WEEK ago the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) was lauded by the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation Dr Blade Nzimande for its proactiven­ess in dealing with Covid-19 on its campuses.

As the largest university in the Western Cape, with a staff and student complement of over 40000 staff and students, we have always been focused on the health and safety of our university community.

Considerin­g that the Western Cape is firmly in the grip of a third wave CPUT’s numbers remain relatively low. The institutio­n currently has 13 active cases with only one of that being a residence student.

That particular student has been referred to a Western Cape Health Isolation Centre and is not recovering on campus. We are transparen­t about our infection rates and they are updated in real time and available on a dashboard on the CPUT website.

We are aware that students at other higher education institutio­ns are agitating for in-person assessment­s to be scrapped and for online exams to be adopted.

At CPUT, we have not had the same pressures since the majority of learning has migrated online, as has the accompanyi­ng assessment­s. Where necessary, the assessment­s which require lab work or practicals, are done on a rotational basis so that social distancing is respected. CPUT is also investing in practical solutions to make online assessment­s more user-friendly while still maintainin­g the integrity of the course offering.

A dedicated Covid-19 task team meets twice a week and consists of individual­s from every department and unit at the institutio­n, from the vice-chancellor’s office to security. This focus has seen CPUT named as a low-risk institutio­n for the potential of spreading the virus because the correct protocols are being implemente­d.

CPUT is also one of the first universiti­es in the country to have an accredited Vaccinatio­n Centre on its campus, which is servicing our own staff and students and also the broader community.

While the Covid-19 outlook may be bleak at the moment, I am confident that our university is doing its bit to bring down infections and put lives first.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa