We find ourselves in difficult and unparalleled times, where the COVID-19 pandemic dominates each day’s news headlines. As we all continue to navigate through these unique and evolving challenges, the University of Johannesburg (UJ) has taken some necessary steps to ensure that we continue to keep our students, staff and frontline workers safe, while delivering educational excellence.
We are reaching out to our staff, alumni, stakeholders, and partners to donate to the UJ COVID-19 DISCRETIONARY FUND. Your funds can assist in a variety of ways.
Student Connectivity and Devices
The national lockdown is an unprecedented decision that has necessitated that we shift to online teaching and learning. We have been steadfast in our commitment, as we embrace this remote form of delivery of the academic programme from 20 April 2020, to ensure that we complete the academic year.
Before the lockdown, UJ had already begun implementing blended modules which combined online learning with traditional classroom learning. While this does not mark a departure from formal classroom learning, it does relook at how we deliver knowledge. We understand the challenges this presents, given South Africa’s socioeconomic context.
UJ is one of the largest residential universities in the country and has close to 48 000 students on our four campuses. We have become the University of Choice for the working class, first-generation student and our student profile comprises of 89 % black students, with 29% from the poorest schools in South Africa. In comparison, 60% of our students are first-generation university graduates, and NSFAS funds 56 % of our undergraduate students.
For the lockdown, many of our students, vacated residences and other UJ accredited accommodation. UJ has already engaged with telecommunication companies to provide students with access to data and access to the UJ website for free (“zero-rated”), and you can view these sites at https://www.uj.ac.za/studyatUJ/Pages/zero-rated-data-to-students-and-applicants.aspx.
It is critical for our students to have the required devices and data to ensure that they can access online teaching and learning. Easy access to online resources could still be a challenge to our students due to lack of data in their communities and for our international students outside of South Africa who can’t access the “zero-rated” sites. Many of our students also do not have the required devices to access the online learning material, and due to the lockdown, they are not able to make use of UJ’s computer labs and WiFi offering across our four campuses.
You can support our students by donating funds so that we can assist them in continuing their studies online in these troubling times. Your donation will ensure that UJ, can continue to focus on our passion – bringing accessible education to students from all walks of life.
Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)
One of the key challenges during the COVID-19 crisis is to get personal protective equipment (PPE) to medical and essential services personnel as quickly as possible. Four items are recommended for use as PPE; face masks (N95), face shields, gloves and disposable plastic suits. Face shields should be used together with face masks as they cover the eyes and the whole face offering a high degree of protection from droplets.
The UJ MakerSpace is using 3D printing to produce desperately needed face shields for Netcare911 medical staff in Johannesburg. The design, for the shield frame, was downloaded from the Open Source COVID-19 Medical Supplies Facebook Group*. The headbands of the face shields are printed using 3D printers using this design layout. The shields are made from old overhead projector transparency sheets cut to fit the headbands using laser cutters. The shields cover the entire face, including their eyes in addition to surgical masks that protect the mouth. The shield frames are made from plastic and can, therefore, can be sterilized or sanitized for continuous use. The cost of a face shield is R25.00 per shield for the material and electricity used; this does not include labour costs. By donating to this worthwhile initiative, you will be doing your part to protect those in the frontline of the COVID-19 crises, emergency services, police, and medical personnel.
Read UJ Library Makerspace develops 3D printed face shields in fight against COVID-19
*Please note that UJ does not currently have a medical certificate for the face shields.
Donations to the Fund
- Subject to conditions, all donations by South African taxpayers should qualify for a Section 18A Tax certificate.
Please contact Daphney Nemakhavhani (email@example.com) if you would like more information.You can donate now via credit card by clicking on this link: https://www.uj.ac.za/corporateservices/give2uj/Pages/Credit-Card-Payments.aspx and putting as reference:
- Student connectivity and devices: COVID19CONNECT
- Personal Protection Equipment (PPE): COVID19EQUIPT
- Alternatively, you can EFT your donation to the following bank account:
- Bank: FNB
Account name: University of Johannesburg-Main ACC
Branch name: Client services
Branch code: 210554
Account number: 62615873149
- Reference for student connectivity and devices: COVID19CONNECT
- Reference for Personal Protection Equipment (PPE): COVID19EQUIPT
We wish you and your loved ones all the best in the coming days and believe that by standing together, we will be able to overcome this challenge.