Students at the University of Cape Town have voiced concerns about non-compliance with Covid-19 protocols.
“When we raise our concerns they are simply brushed off and we are met with disregard and apathy. Our fears, anxiety, stress and concerns are continuously invalidated. We do not feel safe. We are essentially being made to choose between our and families health and safety and our degrees. It is so demoralising, unreasonable and unjust,” said UCT student Ammaara Mowza.
She added that since the beginning of the academic year, students have been forced to attend in-person tutorials and write in-person tests/exams.
UCT’s student representative council president Declan Dyer said they are aware of the situation and they have been engaging with the university since before the third wave hit.
“There are students with comorbidities, and even with social distancing, they still run a risk. The university says they are in compliance. We are not confident in this. Students have had to gather outside exam venues,” said Dreyer.
UCT has noted comments on social media around compliance with Covid-19 protocols at venues and in the Jammie Shuttles.
Elijah Moholola spokesperson for UCT said the posts shared on social media seem to point more to a lack of compliance at an individual level, which the university notes with deep concern. At an institutional level, UCT has measures in place that are fully compliant with the national lockdown alert level two regulations.
UCT urged students to maintain physical distancing outside examination venues and on the way to campus, exercising personal responsibility for keeping themselves and others around as safe as possible
“The number of students who will sit in invigilated exams (from June 23) is a very small proportion of our student body. UCT will apply all health and safety requirements in line with current lockdown protocols. Ventilation has been assessed at all exam venues and upgraded where required,” Moholola.
He added that adequate distancing between students is a priority and exam venues have been laid out to ensure that 1.5m social distancing is maintained to mitigate any spread of the virus.
No one will be allowed into any examination venue without a green result on their UCT Daily Health Screening App. A green result means the student or staff member shows no Covid-19 symptoms.
It is a requirement for every student to do the UCT Daily Screening on the app and to complete the questions truthfully, to ensure that other students are not put at risk by anyone who does have Covid-19 symptoms.
Jammie Shuttles are legally allowed to run at 100% capacity, UCT has put an additional precaution in place by not allowing standing passengers.
UCT has given clear directives to the management of the Jammie Shuttle service to ensure that all Covid-19 protocols are enforced.