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Nzimande: Online learning continues to be a key challenge during lockdown

Minister Blade Nzimande, together with others in the sector, have been briefing Parliament’s higher education portfolio committee on plans to rescue the 2020 academic year.

FILE: Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology Blade Nzimande. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande said online education continued to be a key challenge during the lockdown.

Nzimande, together with others in the sector, have been briefing Parliament’s higher education portfolio committee on Tuesday on plans to rescue the 2020 academic year.

Nzimande said his department was prioritising the role of information and communication technology in the higher education sector to ensure students have access to learning material.

The minister has told Parliament’s higher education committee he was in the process of assessing the online capacity and would be meeting with the leadership of all universities and TVET colleges.

“There are also poor students amongst the private higher education sector.”

Nzimande said his department was also speaking to cell phone companies to discuss zero ratings and data on educational materials.

The minister said in the light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the academic year had to be reorganised in a bid to save the 2020 learning calendar.