The College would also want to reiterate that despite the setback of the pandemic, the CCT family worked very hard throughout the year 2020 ensuring that students had succeeded in their studies, thanks to our dedicated and hardworking staff members. As such CCT is expecting a large number of students graduating this year and leaving this place where they have been calling home for the past few years. Similar to the previous cohorts, it is also expected that these graduates are going to make incredible achievements for themselves, their families and the College. There is no doubt that they are going to make great contributions to the Northern and Western Cape Provinces, as well as the country at large while also holding the CCT flag high.
As the new Principal and CEO of this wonderful CCT family, I promise all the students, staff and partners of our College that there will be more success and achievements this year despite the surging pandemic. It is also my assurance to all our stakeholders that the College remains supportive of every student, and that the doors of our staff members are open to you our “Number One Client”.
It is anticipated, the new normal is now with us for the foreseeable future. Hence, we as CCT must embrace and follow ALL COVID-19 standard operating procedures (SOP) to ensure the safety of all our students and staff members. In the academic front, the CCT has put a raft of measures and interventions in place to support students, as well as effective teaching and learning. These interventions include online tutoring, telephone tutoring, online academic advising and mentoring, online and telephone counselling. Furthermore, all academic and professional support staff have been requested to particularly pay attention to the needs of students this year more than ever before. I am also pleased to announce that the College has managed to engage with several data providers with the aim of supporting students with their online studies.
As the new principal of CCT, I am also cognisant of the current situation which is not only very stressful for students and staff owing to persistent COVID-19 threats and national lockdown which may be disruptive to effective teaching, learning and assessment. For this reason, the College’s Executive Management Team is expected to approve a series of alternative assessment plans which will be submitted by Campuses. While campuses have been encouraged to take the current unusual circumstances into account when setting assessments, they are also required to ensure that the high standards according to which the College normally functions are not compromised. This will also include providing quality teaching and learning to our valued number one client despite the current circumstances. Since campuses are subject to different academic requirements as well as professional requirements, each campus is expected to put in place all necessary and appropriate measures for the different programmes to ensure that students are not disadvantaged by factors outside their control.
The office of the principal also wants to wish you all well with your studies and assure you once again that your success is as important as the reason for us being employed at this College. We as the staff of CCT will do everything we can to support you throughout the year 2021. We will also continue to observe the appropriate regulations while at the same time ensuring the health and well-being of our CCT community. The office of the principal also reiterates that social-psycho support will be given to all students and staff members. Therefore, those in distress are encouraged to reach out to the relevant support services that have been provided at numerous sites in our Colleges. Both students and staff are also advised to visit the CCT website for contact details as well as regular updates that are posted.
As you will be aware, the course of the coronavirus pandemic remains of concern, both locally in the Western Cape province, nationally and even globally. However, there seems to be a continued surge in the rate of transmission. The College COVID-19 committee being led by the able, Mr M Booi, the Vice Principal Corporate services is expected to continue working with the Higher Health and provide renewed guidance on how the college should respond to any changing environments including protocols issued thereof. The College Executive Management Team is also expected to continue offering maximum support to this committee. We as the EMT of the College, we are absolutely clear that our number one priority and responsibility is to protect the health and safety of the entire College community. Also aligned to this is that we pledge to put our students’ education and experience at the heart of our decision making this year.
The EMT wants to make it a priority that, several teaching and learning modes be introduced without delay during the year 2021. It is expected that through being creative and responsive in our approach, we can also provide online teaching that can deliver the same level of learning outcomes for our students, particularly in cases where social distancing requirements put significant restrictions on what can be delivered in a physical space. The Team will continue to emphasise that where it is safe, practicable, and pedagogically advantageous or necessary, teaching will continue being delivered using face-to-face, rather than online. However, in instances where such mode is considered a second option then other alternatives such as teaching online would be recommended.
One more important area of attention that CCT community should be aware of is that we all need to be mindful of the welfare of our students who, as we all do, thrive on social interaction. I have been talking in recent days to our EMT and I am impressed by the steps they have put in place to support face-to-face engagement in other areas such as sporting activities and excursions among others for students this year. I am confident that we can apply the same creativity and innovation to our educational settings as well.
My final words of welcome to all CCT stakeholders are that, by working together as a community, being sensitive to each other’s concerns and needs, and following the rules that are there for our collective safety, I am confident we will make CCT the jewel not only of Cape Town but also of the country at large this year 2021.
Welcome to the College of Cape Town for the year 2021. We will continue to be strong and positive against all odds. May God Bless the College of Cape Town and bless you all.
I thank you.
Dr MM Muswaba (FCIS)