Minister of Higher Education Dr. Brian Mushimba says Universities and colleges will open their doors to all learners in final examination classes on June 8, 2020.
Speaking when he addressed the nation on Friday morning, Dr. Mushimba announced that the opening of higher learning institutions will be implemented in a phased manner subject to readiness to resume classes for both Private and Public institutions.
Graduating students will be the first ones to commence lessons and subsequently write their exams based on calendars approved by their respective senates and foreign students graduating will continue with e-learning and their exams will be conducted online,he said.
He added that TEVET colleges and other colleges will open on July 1, 2020 and that the TEVET examination sessional dates would be reduced to two sessions this year.
He said exams that were scheduled for April/May will be held from July 27 to August 7, 2020 while exams scheduled for July/August and November/ December will be combined and held from 8 to 13 December 2020.
Dr. Mushimba further said government would not provide any masks, soap or hand sanitisers for Universities and Colleges and students will be required to bring their own.
He added that institutions that were been used as Quarantine Centers for COVID-19 will require adequate disinfection before they are certified ready to receive students back on campus.
He said non-graduating returning students will continue with e-learning until a time when the environment is conducive for them to return on campus.
The minister reiterated that E-learning would continue being an integral part of the learning process for both graduating students and other learners.
He said his Ministry would continuously monitor systems put in place for quality assurance and that it would continue engaging all Universities and Colleges with a view to inform decision on the resumption of classes by non-graduating students.
He disclosed that key guidelines such as temperature checks at entry points will be implemented once learning resumes.
Key guidelines that will be required include; restriction of students to two people per room in hostels and no squatting will be permitted, restriction to visitors on campus, regular inspection of hostels to ensure compliance, social clubs and amenities will be closed and very strong peer to peer monitoring,he added.
He said support from staff, parents, guardians and learners would be required for a safe learning environment amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Mushimba also disclosed that the University of Zambia would have its 49th Graduation Ceremony virtually on July 10, 2020 as the country adopts the new normal of living.