HIGHER education institutions in Namibia are preparing for shutdowns as fears of a nationwide coronavirus spread continue.
The University of Namibia (Unam) today announced that vacation school has been cancelled, following a presidential ban of large gatherings.
President Hage Geingob yesterday announced the ban for a period of 30 days after Namibia reported two confirmed coronavirus cases.
Unam’s Spokesperson, John Haufiku, in a statement, explained that the vacation school that was initially scheduled to start from 16 March to 20 March 2020, has been called off.
“This precautionary measure taken by the university is aimed at mitigating the risks posed by the coronavirus. The university would therefore like to request all distance mode students to not travel to their respective Codel centers or unam campuses as per the usual arrangements for vacation school,” the university said.
Unam added that Codel is putting arrangements in place for all tutors to avail their vacation school preparations and lecture notes to all distance mode students through moodle.
“All tests scheduled for vacation school will continue as planned. Tests that were planned to be written manually will be rescheduled to be administered online at a date to be announced soon,” the university stated.
Meanwhile, the Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust), announced that the midterm break that was initially set for 6 to 10 April, has been shifted closer and will now take place next week, 16 to 20 March.
This means that students will not attend classes for all of next week.
Nust, through its spokesperson, Jordaania Andima, also announced that graduation ceremonies that were scheduled for 29 and 30 April have been postponed to October.
Students that were supposed to graduate in April have been advised to collect their degrees at the university.
Large gatherings will also not take place at the tertiary institution for the next 29 days, it was further announced.
Andima explained that this includes faculty and departmental meetings and events on the Nust calendar.
“Clarity will be provided after further consultation if this will also be applicable to classes with large student numbers,” Andima said.
The library, regional centres and lecture halls will remain closed during mid-term break, Nust said, adding that the hotel will remain open.