Nelson Mandela University COVID-19 Latest Updates

By Safe Campus Coordinating Team 

The present rise in COVID-19 transmissions nationally and on Nelson Mandela University Gqeberha campuses (see statistics below) was anticipated given the recent opening up of restrictions, as we learn to co-exist with coronavirus by continuing to practise all basic preventative measures.

Our approach to the virus going forward is that it forms part of our overall commitment to individual and collective wellbeing of all staff and students.

Keep masks on indoors

This means keeping your masks on indoors, particularly in communal spaces like lecture venues, offices and ablution facilities. Please keep all interior spaces ventilated by leaving doors and windows open.

Vaccination

In addition, you are strongly urged to get vaccinated. Vaccination against COVID-19 is the best way of preventing serious illness and hospitalisation if you contract the virus.

You can take advantage of this opportunity to be vaccinated at any of the University’s campus clinics in Gqeberha or George if you are a student, or at the COVID-19 Vaccination Centre on North Campus  or the George Campus clinic as a staff member.

This includes the need for booster shots.

Consider taking your lead from the University’s own Council members who are running a social media campaign urging staff and students to vaccinate READ MORE

Rapid testing

Both Student Health Services and Occupational Health Services are offering students and staff the opportunity to take a rapid antigen test if you have symptoms.

Please do not hesitate to take the test with them or elsewhere if you are feeling unwell. If you do test positive you can immediately isolate from others for seven days, which will help to stop the spread of the virus.

Clinic staff will advise you on the steps to follow.

Reporting your status

As part of efforts to manage the virus nationally and by employees, all positive cases must be reported to either Student Health or Occupational Health.

Coronavirus is a notifiable communicable disease so you are legally obliged to inform your employer (occupationalhealth@mandela.ac.za) or, in the case of students, Student Health Services (maria.luthaga@mandela.ac.za).

This information is for reporting purposes only and is kept strictly confidential.

Self-screening

As screening no longer takes place at the entrances to campus, you are encouraged to use the self-screening tool to monitor your own wellbeing.

https://webapps.mandela.ac.za/screening

Statistics

As in the country with 8 351 of cases as at Friday, 13 May, there has been an increase in cases in Gqeberha to 2315. At the University, 25 new student cases have been reported this month. There have been 42 staff cases this year, many of which were reported this month.

It is also believed that caseloads are underreported because many people are not testing. Many individuals are asymptomatic (showing no signs of ill health), only discovering that they have COVID-19 because of compulsory PCR testing to meet specific travel or hospital requirements.

Acknowledgement

We acknowledgment your frustrations and disappointments considering that we have all been grappling with coronavirus for more than two years. In addition, we face daily power outages because of loadshedding and now Nelson Mandela Bay and the institution face the very real likelihood of life without running tap water in the near future (early June).

While this is our present harsh reality, we believe that with your understanding and support we can navigate these challenges. We have overcome such crises in the past, and are confident we can do it again to enable our students to complete the 2022 Academic Year.

Job Opportunity

Title: Engineering and Science

Company: South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

Location: Cape Town

Status: 3-year internship

South African citizens and permanent residents, who are in the
final year of:

A Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering or Computer
Engineering or Electronic Engineering or Electrical Engineering
or Industrial Engineering or Mechanical Engineering or
Mechatronic Engineering
• A Bachelor of Technology in Civil Engineering (Urban
Engineering or Construction Management) or Computer
Engineering or Electronic Engineering or Electrical Engineering
or Mechatronic Engineering
• Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Science Engineering in
Electronic Engineering or Computer Engineering
• Bachelor of Computer Science – Honours

Please take note that:

  1. Short-listed candidates will be assessed through an online
    assessment, in August 2022. This assessment forms part of the
    selection process. Dates for the assessment will be
    communicated to short-listed candidates, and are nonnegotiable.
  2. Successful graduate interns will be based in Cape Town, for a
    period of 3 years, starting in approximately January 2023.
  3. Successful graduate interns may complete a Masters degree
    (part-time) during their 3-year internship.

Additional information:

Complete the application form Apply here
Fill in all fields, and ensure you upload the required documentation. Incomplete
applications will not be considered.


If you require assistance please contact Sane Mazibuko at smazibuko@sarao.ac.za

Please note that only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

Visit http://www.sarao.ac.za/ for more about SARAO

Closing date for applications: 30 June 2022

Madibaz Athlete Claims Gold and Silver at USSA Champs

By Fullstop Communications

Madibaz field athlete Ischke Senekal aims to use her achievements at last week’s University Sport SA championships in Cape Town as a springboard to further improvement this year.

The 29-year-old from Kariega, who is busy with her master’s degree in education at Nelson Mandela University, won the shot put (15.71m) and took silver in the discus (51.22m) at the event.

Senekal said she was happy with her efforts after what she felt was a disappointing showing at the SA National Championships earlier this year.

“It did not go as I wanted in the nationals because although I got gold in the shot put, I was only fourth in the discus,” said the 2018 African shot put champion.

“So, for me, the USSA champs went much better as I improved my distances and picked up gold and silver.”

She added that the disruption of the Covid-19 pandemic had set her back.

“That really affected my plans to work on increasing my distances in each event as we could not practise as normal.”

Looking ahead, Senekal said her sights were set on improving her personal bests of 17.56m in the shot put and 56.86m in the discus while her ultimate target was the SA shot put record of 17.88m.

The Madibaz athlete has been included in the South African team to compete in the African Championships in Mauritius from June 8 to 12.

“I really want to use that occasion to try to achieve the goals I have set myself.”

Senekal has been competing internationally since winning the discus number at the African Junior Championships in Botswana in 2011 and said her taste for high-level competition was undimmed.

“Simply, I just want to be the best I can be in the sport that I love,” she said. “If I motivate some young athletes to achieve well then that is a bonus.

“My message to them is never to give up on their dreams no matter what because there will be obstacles in your path. You just have to jump over them and keep looking ahead with a positive attitude.”

Madibaz Sport athletics manager Bernard Petersen said he was impressed with the performances of their athletes at the championships, where they also achieved four fourth places.

“There have been some changes in the format, with USSA deciding to go back to the points system in 2023,” he said. “It will develop athletics and broaden the base.

“Currently we are using the medal system where the institution’s position is determined by how many medals you win at the contest.”

He added that the Technical Vocational Education and Training Colleges would be part of the USSA athletics calendar next year.

“It is a very bold step and it certainly makes the event more inclusive.

“Madibaz want to make sure that athletics grows to its full potential among the tertiary institutions and part of our strategy to increase participation is to schedule a track and field event in October.

“We are hoping that we will get buy-in from the tertiary institutions in the Eastern Cape for this event.”

Photo credit: Supplied

Women’s Challenge Ambassador Designs Event Logo 

By Fullstop Communications

Colourful SPAR Women’s Challenge ambassador and fine arts graduate Jeanie Steyn has combined her passions to design the logo for this year’s events. 

The Madibaz netball star, who has a strong relationship with the retailer due to the latter’s involvement in women’s sport, was commissioned by SPAR Eastern Cape to develop the 2022 race identity. 

The logo will be used for the Grand Prix Series event in Gqeberha on May 28 and the Virtual Challenge, nationally, on September 3. 

The Women’s Challenge had adopted a slogan of #IRise and Steyn said it was a challenge to create something that would be universally acceptable. 

“It is always a bit tricky producing something where you need people to envision what you are trying to represent,” she said. 

“You are always thinking ‘am I conveying the same message to the viewer as what I am thinking and feeling through the design?’. 

“It is always a gamble because people are different and prefer different things. I have learnt that if someone does not like what you are making, it is okay – you cannot expect everyone to think it is amazing.” 

Steyn, from Gqeberha, said the slogan played an important role in her thought processes. 

“The first idea to represent the word Rise was a female figure standing strong or jumping for joy.” 

She made a few line drawings and settled on two that she liked. 

“I then drew them digitally, which was still new territory for me since I majored in making three-dimensional objects.” 

The designs were presented to all the regional event organisers and, as a group, they settled on the idea of female figures, explained Steyn. 

“Although SPAR had to make a few changes to align it with their brand strategies and protocols, I am still pleased that they chose the female figures to represent this year’s event. 

“For me, these figures represent resilience and unconditional, consistent rising up to whatever life has to offer.” 

The concept of ambassadors in the various regions was created last year to assist in promoting the event. 

This year Steyn, comedian and entertainer Gino Fabbri and cancer survivor and motivational speaker Yolanda Bukani are the national ambassadors from the Eastern Cape. 

“It really is an honour being an ambassador for this amazing event,” she said. 

“This is a platform where women come together, break borders and rise to the challenge. It unites women nationally and allows us to realise our full potential.” 

She thought that the ambassador concept worked well as people felt more comfortable when they could relate to someone or their story. 

“It makes the event more personal and people are more inclined to join something they relate to or where they feel part of something.” 

As a top netball player who has represented South Africa, Steyn also connects with SPAR EC through its sponsorship of Madibaz netball. 

“It was first through playing for Madibaz and then through working in the Madibaz netball office at Nelson Mandela University where I developed a connection with SPAR and the brand. 

“When I was asked to be an ambassador it was a no-brainer as their values are aligned with mine. They always look for ways to give back to the community and it is so much more than just food.” 

SPAR EC sponsorships and events manager Alan Stapleton acknowledged the important role of the ambassadors in promoting the race as well as campaigns such as the fight against gender-based violence. 

“They have done an amazing job creating awareness of these sorts of issues. We have become one very happy family,” he said. 

“Besides our three national ambassadors, we have some wonderful new people on board this year and we are excited about collaborating with them in the months ahead.” 

The retailer and regional ambassadors are Alasia Moumtzis (SUPERSPAR Newton Park), Lalla Yerolemou (KWIKSPAR Spyros, SPAR Algoa Foods and SPAR Algoa), Mignon Venter (SUPERSPAR Jeffreys Bay), Karlien Meiring (SPAR Dagbreek), Ntombesintu Mfunzi (athlete and author), Nicci Swartz (artist), Emmy Nxayeka (environmental awareness), Candace Juhl (singer) and Di Luden (United Through Sport). 

Photo credit: Leon Hugo

Madibaz Cricketer Seizes the Moment in SA A Debut

By Fullstop Communications

Madibaz cricketer Tristan Stubbs seized the moment when he steered South Africa A to victory in his Twenty20 debut in Zimbabwe yesterday.

The 21-year-old hard-hitting batsman scored 39 not out off 37 balls as his team surpassed the Zimbabwean XI’s 114 all out with 14 deliveries to spare.

Stubbs was recently named in the squad for the five-match series, which followed three One-Day Internationals last week.

The final-year B.Com student at Nelson Mandela University hit his way into recognition for higher honours with sensational performances in the CSA T20 Challenge in Gqeberha in February.

He notched up three half-centuries for the Warriors, including successive innings of 80 off 31 balls against the Dolphins and 65 off 35 deliveries against the Knights.

It’s no surprise that the T20 Challenge is a career highlight.

“That was a great experience and although we, as a team, did not do that well, it was nice to be second on the list of leading run-scorers,” he said.

“I try to adapt to each format, and I really do enjoy red-ball cricket but, as of right now, I would have to say T20 is my favourite.”

Stubbs said that although his selection for the national outfit had been a surprise, he felt it was just reward for hard work and several eye-catching performances.

“This has been my first full season in provincial cricket, so it was nice to play a number of games,” said the allrounder, who has represented Eastern Province and the Warriors franchise in all three formats.

“I was consistent in the Twenty20 matches and that probably helped to build a case for the selectors to pick me.”

Now, having received a chance to compete at the next level, he wants to grab the opportunity with both hands.

“My goal at the moment is just to make it count,” said Stubbs.

“And then, in the long-term, it is just to make sure I keep enjoying my cricket. So, I am keeping everything very simple.”

The allrounder, who attended Knysna Primary School before matriculating from Grey High in Gqeberha, has had a passion for ball sports as long as he can remember.

“It didn’t have to be a cricket ball; I just remember playing with any type of ball with my dad in the garden when I was a kid,” he said.

As his game developed over the years it became evident that batting was his forté.

“I feel I have the ability to hit sixes, which obviously suits the T20 format, but also to rotate the strike.

“While that went well this season, I also know I have work to do in the red-ball game when it comes to the mental demands of patience and concentration. And I also want to improve my bowling.”

From his parents to coaches, Stubbs has had a strong support base during his short career.

“My parents have always been there to support me and then coaches such as Michael Smith [at Grey High School] helped my batting and Robin Peterson [at the Warriors] gave me the opportunities at domestic level and backs me by allowing me to play with so much freedom,” he said.

Photo credit: Supplied

Emerging Academics in Conversation with VC and Leadership

“To be a scholar is an act of freedom. There is no other job like that. Research the knowledge of your dreams. You have an impact on your own growth as you choose your path.”

This was the salient, inspirational advice by Mandela University Vice-Chancellor Professor Sibongile Muthwa to early career academics at a recent Learning and Teaching hybrid session at the institution. 

Some 50 emerging academics in the University’s Early Career Academics Advancement Programme (ECAAP) attended the session at the Business School and online in April.

ECAAP is a professional progression programme aimed at growing and capacitating the next generation of academics.

Executive Dean: Learning and Teaching Dr Phumeza Kota-Nyati, DVC Engagement and Transformation Prof Andre Keet, and Director: Research Development Dr Priscilla Mensah (on behalf of the DVC Research and Innovation Dr Thandi Mgwebi), formed the panel together with Prof Muthwa. 

Teaching Development Director and co-coordinator of ECAAP, Dr Noluthando Toni, was the facilitator.  Ms Eunice Champion co-coordinates the programme with Dr Toni.

Prof Muthwa invited emerging academics to take advantage of the support systems that the university offers, such as those by Learning and Teaching. She also encouraged the audience to create their own informal spaces to create relationships.

She welcomed inputs as leadership needed to be informed with “fresh ideas about what makes the University great” but equally, to point out its blind spots.

The young academics welcomed the opportunity to engage with the University leadership and aired both the strengths and challenges and frustrations.

Small city university

The issue of Mandela Uni residing in a “small city” as a possible frustration to career advancement was shared. The argument was opposed, since many highly successful universities are not necessarily situated in big cities.

According to Prof Muthwa the academy should not depend on its location, but rather on the bigger call to the advancement of social justice and the contribution it should make. 

It was agreed that the next generation should leave the university in a better place, contributing to humanity.

“Academics should spread their wings and return with more experience” and that they should view themselves as “valuable assets” to the University and ask, “what can we bring to the table?”.


Effect of the pandemic

Another talking point revolved around the impact of the pandemic, as both a challenge and opportunity. The situation called for academics to be innovative and creative, and to find new ways of teaching and working with technology.

Chemistry and science, for example, demanded severe changes with laboratory work and staff are only now finding their feet, thinking in different ways with hybrid sessions. Changing the scholarship of science was, however, rewarding.

The pandemic saw seniority lines blur and disappear with everybody becoming experts, having to understand technology and other skills. This had positively contributed to self-actualisation.

Moodle transitioned academics to be more confident, creative with technology, recording experiments, specialised cameras moving around were “mind-blowing”. Innovation with groups was also a positive factor, one of the academics said.   

A huge learning curve also had to be transitioned with many students challenged with data support and devices as well as the online experience.

Spelling and language problems were mentioned and the importance of bridging courses for technology and language issues in rigid curriculums.

In response, Dr Kota-Nyati mentioned the team of writing consultants available to work in groups to assist with assignments. Some departments, such as Economics, have also translated their coursework into isiXhosa and Afrikaans.

Learning and Teaching GetDigiReady consultants are situated in all faculties, automated electronic books are available on Moodle, as well as designers and experts to assist academics to transition to technology, also for postgraduate students.

Student funding issues and academic burnout

The contentious issue of student funding processes was raised because of the impact it had on academics who were expected to constantly bring affected students up to date. This saw academics experience burnout.

Prof Muthwa explained that there were no easy answers as the University had a social responsibility to support poor deserving students with late registration since their life pathways were at stake.

She said the answer lay in the stability of government policy to finalise funding ahead of the start of the new year. 

The large teaching and marking load of young academics also needed to be researched, Prof Muthwa said.  

“Looking after one’s wellbeing, which includes having good relationships and supporting one another, is important.”

The sum of everyone’s individual contributions led to benefits for the larger entity.  

Support for academics

Prof Muthwa said support was the big issue and commended ECAAP for its  affirming support in producing  well-rounded academics.

“These conversations are a step in the right direction.”

Another point raised was to return to the institutional values including social justice. In this way the layers between emerging academics, and those higher up could become energising and a good institutional culture fostered. This could remove feelings of being threatened from all sides. And humility is in line with the humanising pedagogy underlining the academic project. 

Contributing to institutional culture

Prof Keet further shared that the University space is both exciting and challenging, with career advancement and collegiality and working against a culture of competition. One must avoid the negative pitfalls. “A good university is built on good people. And you know who you don’t want to be”, he said. 

Prof Muthwa agreed that institutional culture engagement should take place between all layers of academics as everyone contributes to the same goal with different strengths, weaknesses, and fears. Therefore, intergenerational conversations among layers should take place. The same is applicable to administrative staff and between them and the academics. The values and Vision 2030 should be popularised, what it means for Mandela Uni and how it comes through everyone.

Prof Keet reflected on the importance for young researchers to become involved with interdisciplinary research on global challenges in civil society. He emphasised that emerging academics had the possibility to do great work. And the University is a key space to turn their social projects into academic endeavours at our University. This is possible with the growth and leverage of experience at the University.

He also paused at the idea of the university’s place in society and its purpose to build its legitimacy, working on its role and impact to improve the human condition. “People at your level have the critical knowledge to drive the change among academics, especially the changes since 2020, he said.

Research funding opportunities

Dr Mensah mentioned various funding opportunities including available seed funding for postgraduate students, the Mandela University funded ones, internal research grants, senior post docs and access to research professional Africa. All these can be found on the Research Development website and Facebook.  

Emerging opportunities

We have to walk into our power and take emerging opportunities to contribute to the advancement of our continent, Prof Muthwa said.

“We are fleeting, as we lead the University, we are building for a future. Create your own ambition and rise to the best that you can be as a scholar. We must create the space and you must take the opportunities”.

Madibaz stars on a Mission in Telkom Netball League

By Full Stop Communications

A total of 13 SPAR Madibaz Netball Club players will be at the forefront of the Eastern Cape’s mission to make a statement in the Telkom Netball League that gets underway on Wednesday.

The national competition will see the cream of South Africa’s provincial players in action, with the first block of matches in Durban from April 27 to May 2.

Thereafter the games will take place in Pretoria from May 20 to June 19.

The Eastern Cape will be represented by the closely matched Aloes and Comets teams, who will compete in the B division.

Madibaz’s Britney van der Merwe, who plays wing defence and goal defence, will co-captain the Comets while goalkeeper Jeanie Steyn will lead the Aloes. Lana Krige, who mentors the Nelson Mandela University side, coaches both squads.

Madibaz Sport netball manager Melinda Goosen, who will manage the Aloes, said promotion to the A division was a priority.

“The Aloes have won the B division for the past two years and the Comets finished sixth last year, so it is definitely time for one of them to move up,” she said.

“This will not be easy, but we do have the talent in the Eastern Cape.

“It would really show the strength of netball in the province if we can have the Comets and Aloes in the B division final.”

Goosen said the league would be contested on a double round-robin format, with the top teams qualifying for the semis.

The champions in the lower division will meet the bottom-placed A division side in a promotion-relegation match for a spot in the league’s top tier in 2023.

Steyn, a stalwart of the competition since 2014 when it was known as the Brutal Fruit league, is making a comeback after a hand injury curtailed her 2021 season.

“It will be my fifth year playing for the Aloes and I am excited about this opportunity for our players,” she said.

“Having this chance to compete means that we, as individuals, are growing and grooming our talents, which contributes to strengthening the game in South Africa.

“We want to compete with countries like New Zeeland, England and Australia and this league is paving the way to make that possible.”

She said the experience of the Aloes players who had competed in the Telkom Netball League before would be crucial.

“We have strong, experienced players who know what to expect,” said Steyn.

“This will be beneficial as it will be important to stay calm and collected when it is needed and to be able to hustle in tough situations.

“My message to the players is to embrace every moment. We have nothing to lose, so we might as well go out there and enjoy it.”

Van der Merwe, a member of the the B division-winning team last year, did not shy away from her team’s objective.

“I think every team has one big goal and that is to win. I won’t downplay that because that’s what we work so hard towards.

“But we also want to take each game as a learning opportunity, play as a unified outfit and make sure we always strive to do our best,” she said.

“It will be important to stay calm under pressure but, if we can play with a unified front and give our all on the court, I’ll consider it a success.”

Van der Merwe expressed her appreciation at the opportunity provided by the national body.

“I just need to thank Netball SA for the opportunities they give us. Words can’t express our gratitude but hopefully our games can,” she said.

“The TNL gives us the platform to showcase our abilities and our passion and I personally love it that netball, a game I hold so dear to my heart, gets recognised publicly.

“It makes the players feel valued as ‘professional athletes’.”

The Madibaz players are:

Eastern Cape Aloes: Jeanie Steyn (goalkeeper/goal defence), Siyamthanda Dingiswayo (centre), Siphosetho Kilani (centre/wing attack), Noluthando Maliehe (wing defence/goalkeeper), Mitha Sinxo (goalkeeper/goal defence), Juanita van Tonder (goal defence/goalkeeper), Kaylin Coetzee (goal shooter), Mothira Mohammad (goal attack/wing attack), Mihlali Mgweba (wing attack/goal attack).

Eastern Cape Comets: Britney van der Merwe (wing defence/goal defence), Kelly du Toit (goalkeeper/goal defence), Hanniska van Vuuren (wing attack/centre), Bianca Bloom (goal shooter/goal attack).

Photo credit: Varsity Netball

Ms Noxolo Grootboom to Receive a Doctor of Philosophy (honoris causa) at Nelson Mandela University

Ms Noxolo Grootboom (centre) will receive a Doctor of Philosophy (honoris causa) for her invaluable work and contribution to journalism, media, and communication, as well as her upliftment of the linguistic heritage of South Africa.

Born in Cacadu (formerly Lady Frere) in the Eastern Cape, Ms Grootboom moved to Gauteng in 1981, where she took up a course in computers at a Johannesburg-based computer academy. Thereafter, she took up a position as a typist at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) in 1983, seeing this as an opportunity to move into the media space, albeit with no formal journalism background.

She worked her way up to being appointed as a production assistant and received mentoring from fellow journalists. Her love of storytelling and her passion for the isiXhosa language landed her a position as a current affairs producer.

A stand-in stint in the newsroom in 1990, reading a news bulletin, impressed the public broadcaster’s management and she subsequently became an isiXhosa news anchor.

With her unique sense of humour and her inimitable knack for the isiXhosa language, Ms Grootboom represents many things that Nelson Mandela University stands for, including the value of healing society from its brutal wounds, while preserving the intellectual heritage of isiXhosa for families across the nation.

Her public service in South African society to translate stories and capture the mood while teaching younger generations of the content and knowledge preserved in language, makes her one of the few news anchors and storytellers who deserve the opportunity to be honoured by “ukuthweswa isidanga” (graduation) for the excellent work done in service to society for more than three decades.

It is an honour for Nelson Mandela University to confer the degree of Philosophy (honoris causa) on Noxolo Grootboom.

The Impact of Pollution on Coral Reefs

By Amahle Phendu

While millions of people and species of wildlife depend on coral reefs, they are deteriorating and dying at an alarming rate due to human and natural pressures, including overfishing and climate change.

Coral reefs are large underwater structures, composed of the skeletons of colonial marine invertebrates called coral. They play a crucial role in the ecosystem for life under water and protect coastal areas by reducing the power of waves hitting the coast. That is ,they serve as natural marine barriers that protect coastal infrastructure from high impact waves in times of tropical storms, hurricanes and tsunamis .

To survive, coalesced clean water, so when pollutants enter the water, they smother them and speed the growth of damaging algae that in turn lowers the water  quality. Pollution also makes the corals more susceptible to diseases, impede coral growth and reproduction.

The primary cause for coral reefs degradation throughout the world is land-based pollution. This is because human populations are expanding in coastal areas and the development alters the landscape increasing runoffs from the land. These runoffs carry large amounts of sediment from land clearing, sewage outflows and many other pollutants such as petroleum products.

While people may undermine the impact of their doings, coral reefs bear the brunt of it all, and billions of people are going to suffer.

Photo credit: pexels.com

The Effects of Virtual Learning

By Amahle Phendu

With virtual learning being the only option during the pandemic, everyone had no choice but to adapt and move with the time.

Virtual learning is an experience in learning supported by electronic devices ,both inside and outside the resources of an educational institution. In this, the learners and teachers are separated physically, and interact mostly in an online environment.

The transition to virtual leaning did not only affect teachers who need to change their way of teaching, it also affected learners who needed to adapt to the new learning environment. One of the most important consequences of this transition to virtual learning is the impact that it has on students’ physical health, mental health and sleeping habits.

Another issue is that while some students have access to resources like reliable internet and libraries, low-income families often cannot provide the same assistance ,thus, virtual learning increases educational inequalities.

As it is clear that virtual learning separates learners and teachers, and this in most cases, leads to social isolation and results in pupils not developing communication skills that are very much important in these times. This is one of the negative effects of not being able to interact with other students and teachers in virtual learning.

These challenges of online learning can impact both learners and teachers to a great extent, as it is clear the negatives of this style of learning are too much to be ignored.

Photo credit: pexels.com