Some undergraduate classes at UCT now suspended

The University of Cape Town has suspended undergraduate classes in years one to three at the Faculty of Health Sciences for the remainder of the year‚ following ongoing and widespread disruptions over the past three days.

The Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Cape Town‚ Professor Bongani Mayosi‚ has announced that classes for the first-‚ second- and third-year undergraduate programmes have been suspended for the rest of the year‚ but will resume in January 2017.
“This decision affects only the Faculty of Health Sciences. The academic programme for the rest of the Faculty of Health Sciences continues‚ as well as for the rest of the university’s faculties‚” UCT spokesperson Pat Lucas said.
Prof Mayosi’s communication to the faculty‚ stated: “The Dean and the Dean’s Advisory Committee have decided to suspend all teaching and learning activities in Years 1-3 of all the undergraduate programmes‚ with a plan to complete teaching and examinations in a mini-semester in January 2017. We therefore anticipate that the first teaching activities of the 2017 academic year will start later than usual.”

It further stated: “The University of Cape Town opened on 17th October 2016 under conditions of student protest related to local University issues and the national demand for free decolonised education. All undergraduate face-to-face classes were subsequently suspended in other faculties within the University. However‚ in the Faculty of Health Sciences face-to-face classes‚ which are essential to teaching and learning‚ were continued with a view to completing all teaching activities in 2016.

“Over the past three days‚ the Faculty has faced ongoing and widespread disruption of classes in the first three years of our undergraduate academic programmes which have made it intolerable to continue with the teaching and learning programme. Many students have not attended class because of their involvement in protest action at the University of Cape Town or given the stressful conditions they encountered in most teaching situations. This situation has unfortunately led to division and conflict amongst students‚ and high levels of stress amongst our staff. The conditions have deteriorated to a point where they are no longer conducive to teaching and learning.”

Since all teaching activities in years 1 to 3 were being suspended‚ students were free to return home with immediate effect‚ it said.

It added: “The Faculty is committed to partner with the Provincial and National Departments in providing health and social development support through service delivery and clinical teaching and training. The final year students in the Department of Health and Rehabilitation Studies and the 4th to 6th year students in the MBChB programme who receive clinical training on the health service platform will complete their studies in 2016.

“Programme and year conveners will post details of the 2017 mini-semester teaching and assessment plans‚ including dates for students to return in 2017‚ on Vula within the next few weeks. Students who do not have access to Vula can contact Ms Brenda Klingenberg in the Faculty Office by the end of November to establish when they must return to the University (Tel 021 4066650).

“Should students have questions related to teaching activities at this stage‚ they are kindly asked to put those questions via their class representatives.”


Source:  Times Live

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