Message from Chairperson about Covid-19

Since the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared COVID-19 as public health emergency of international concern, governments and global institutions had to reconfigure how they do things and adjust their strategies and plans to respond to the demanding pandemic. The pandemic brought so much terror to the institutions of higher learning and the universities and colleges had to shut their doors for a while. The government worked on a plan to flatten the curve and delay the spread of the pandemic. The way we have handled the COVID-19 pandemic will be scrutinised and judged by generations to come. The Department of Higher Education, Science and Innovation guided by Minister B.E Nzimande had to adjust its academic plans in line with the applicable lockdown regulations and restriction level.

Gert Sibande TVET College fully supported and complied with the guidelines and protocols issued by the Minister, the Department of Health and the President. As a council, we have made budget available to prepare the College sites for the return of staff and students. The College management, under the capable leadership of Principal Portia Mange decontaminated and deep cleaned to prevent the spread of COVID-19 upon the staff and students staggered return. The College formed the COVID-19 task team and charged it with the responsibility of ensuring that the set protocols by Higher Health are in place to protect students and staff from the disease.

The COVID-19 task team is made up of SRC members, Campus Managers, Procurement, Marketing, Compliance, Student Support, and all Executive Management of the College. The task team meets on a weekly basis to address issues that arise. Campuses also have COVID-19 task teams that meet on a weekly basis and feedback is given on weekly basis. I commend the work that is done by the task team in ensuring the safety of staff and students.

The College is grateful to have hosted the Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation:
Hon. Buti Manamela who came to assess the College’s compliance to COVID-19 regulations and protocols. I am pleased to report that he was impressed with the College’s state of readiness. I commend the efforts of the Principal and her executives in ensuring that the college strive to be the leading college brand in the country. As Council, we endorsed a number of initiatives aimed to assist students to complete the 2020 academic year, while prioritising the principle to save lives.

The College in 
partnership with other Colleges adopted e-learning initiatives and produced TV lessons that aired on GauTV on weekdays. To ensure that disadvantaged students who do not have access to GauTV, the Colleges also used Radio to deliver various lessons. The TV lessons were aired in parallel with radio lessons that were broadcast live on Ligwalagwala FM. I would like to encourage students to take advantage of these initiatives. I commend the efforts of the student leadership in working with management to ensure the safe return of students to various Campuses. Lastly, I would like to offer my appreciation to the CEO of the Fibre Processing & Manufacturing Seta (FP&M SETA) Ms Felleng Yende for making funding available to the Skills Academy and Artisan Development Centre to produce fabric masks that were distributed to returning staff and students. At the time of reporting, over 10 000 masks were produced and distributed to students and staff members.

Mr Bongani June Mwale
Chairperson of College Council