University of Rwanda has suspended teaching activities from March 16-30. The move comes in line with the Government of Rwanda’s new measures to contain the spread of COVID 19 after confirming its first case.
The university’s statement came out on Sunday complementing drastic preventive measures issued by the Ministry of Education, under which the university operates, and the Ministry of Health. Closing all schools, universities, churches and public gatherings were among the measures taken.
The University of Rwanda’s statement stipulated that all students should vacate from their campuses by Monday 16th at 5 pm. It goes on to explain that transport means were only provided for secondary schools.
For international students, the statement laid guidelines for them to stay in their residences and register to Directors of Students’ Welfare to ease assistance. Students will be informed about the resumption of studies.
Students were also encouraged to continue self-learning with help of online studying materials. University staff will work and report from home.
Kaminuza Star’s efforts to reach the Director of Students’ Welfare were futile by the time of press. Students however expressed their deep concerns about the effects the suspension will have on their academic progress.
Ishimwe whose first name is withheld, is running catch courses in Medicine in Huye campus. She was preparing for a series of exams in the next few weeks.
“We cannot complain because we understand the rationale of UR’s decision but we can not ignore the fact that this is going to affect our performance in one way or another,” she said.
However, one of the students living in a university hostel told Kaminuza Star that evacuating students from hostels might be even more dangerous.
“I am in less social contact in my hostel than the buses and all contacts I would have to make on my way to and at my home. I think instead of making everyone travel from different places to their homes, we can just stay in hostels which seem to be the safer option to me,” she explained.
University of Rwanda announced the temporary suspension on Sunday, a day after Rwanda confirmed its first case of COVID 19. According to the Ministry of Health, an Indian national who traveled from Mumbai to Kigali on March 8th without COVID 19 symptoms was diagnosed positive after taking himself to hospital on Saturday.