Media Statement
17 March 2020
For Immediate Release

The Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University Management has taken a decision to suspend all contact lectures/practicals/clinical sessions and assessments with immediate effect. This decision is in line with the announcement made by the President following a cabinet meeting that decided to put extra ordinary measures in place to minimize the risk of spreading the Corona Virus.

“The health and safety of our staff and students are of paramount importance, and so is the containment of the spread of the infection. The recess period for students scheduled to commence from 03 April 2020, is now brought forward to commence with immediate effect until 13 April 2020”, said SMU Acting Vice Chancellor Professor Lekan Ayo-Yusuf.

The university further took a decision to allow its staff members to work from home during this period with effect from 19 March 2020 and commits that university operations will continue. “Effective from Thursday 19 March 2020, staff members will work from home, unless if the operations require that they operate from the campus beyond 18 March 2020 as may be determined from time to time by the relevant line managers”, said Prof Ayo-Yusuf.

“No case of the Corona Virus has been recorded at SMU, however we decided to act now rather than later”, says Dr Eric Pule, SMU spokesperson.

“This is not a total shutdown as essential services within the university will continue. The institution is working on plans to mitigate the effects of the early recess such as exploring the use of e-learning mechanisms for students.

In order to ensure that the operations of the university continue even when staff work from home, human resources has put in place a set of guidelines and protocols to ensure that staff members continue with their daily responsibilities. To the extent possible, the university will rely on the use of telephone, emails, and skype calls as determined by the relevant line managers and where the need arises, staff may be called in to come to the campus”, emphasised Dr Pule.

The university is working closely with all the students to ensure that they vacate the residences on and off campus within a stipulated period and has put measures in place to assist those who may face difficulties to do so during this period.

Issued by the Marketing & Communication
For more details, please contact Dr Eric Pule, email address eric.pule@smu.ac.za
Phone 012 521 4563 Cell: 0635035587
Website: www.smu.ac.za