Over the years,Unisa has been offering distance and e-learning (ODeL) to hundreds of South Africans and producing esteemed graduates, the Covid-19 pandemic has left students anxious about the submission of assignments and the successful completion of their exams.
Thanks to the partnership between Unisa and mobile telecommunications company,MTN, Unisa students will receive 30GB of data per month (10GB anytime and 20GB night time) for a period of two months from mid-May to mid-July 2020, said Uinsa.
According to Wanda Matandela, MTN Business Chief Enterprise Officer: “ At MTN, we believe in delivering the benefits of a modern, connected life to all South Africans, and this partnership allowed us to collaborate in the interest of enabling continuous learning for the benefit of their students at this difficult time.”
The free data will be available for all registered students during the exam period.Exams are scheduled to start on the 25th of May, and it was vital that students had access to sufficient data and connectivity to successfully complete their exams, the statement said.
Unisa will be offering about 24 million gigabytes during this time to a student body of about 390 000. The free data will be provided to facilitate the easy completion of the May/June exams, students can also use the data during this period to conduct other academic activities, such as the submission of assignments online, online contact with the university and preparations for the online exams.
Unisa principal and vice-chancellor Professor Mandla Makhanya said the coronavirus pandemic and the associated interventions by government and institutions alike had, among others, necessitated the rapid introduction of online modes of doing business across many spheres of society, including in the higher education sector.
“As a caring and responsible university, driven by strong values of ubuntu/botho and being fully cognisant of the dire socio-economic conditions that many of our students find themselves in, we took a considered decision that all our students must have access to data, with the university carrying the cost, so that they are enabled to write their exams and succeed in their studies,” said Makhanya.