Dear HELTASA members

As we continue in our responses to support your steps to address teaching and learning in the time of COVID-19 (see EXEC message 25/03/20 – add link), we have put together a range of engagements for the HELTASA community in the lockdown period:

  1. Different academics have been shoulder-tapped to write short and sharp pieces to share their perspectives and point of view (POV). If you would like to write a short PoV, please contact or with pleasure.
  2. Each piece has a space for comments at the bottom so let’s read and engage and enter into dialogue and conversation about points being raised. This is an important form of knowledge creation for us as an academic community and as HELTASA.
  3. Corrine Knowles from Rhodes University has agreed to write a weekly instalment on Staff Wellness. If you would like to collaborate on this topic, please email Corrine at
  4. The HELTASA CLC’s, formerly known as Special Interest Groups or SIG’s, will be leading engagements with the HELTASA community over the lockdown period. Rieta Ganas (Vice chair and CLC convenor) explains below what the CLC’s are and what they will be offering in the lockdown period. You are encouraged to participate in these important activities.

The HELTASA EXEC has also prepared a set of questions to guide our deliberations at this time:


  • What is the nature of the current threat to the academic project?
  • What is our assessment of the threat and its implications for teaching and learning?
  • What is our response to the situation?
  • Is our response pedagogically sound?
  • What losses and gains are incurred, as a result of our response?
  • How do we proceed from here?


We invite you to share your views with us and let’s think through this together. Multiple perspectives are important to envision a pluri-versal reality and we need to enter into debates and discussion to sharpen our responses and stretch each other to think outside the proverbial box. We might have an opportunity to create something unique and different in our universities just by applying ourselves, with all parts of our selves (thinking, feeling, being, doing, valuing, seeing), in collective sharing, co-creation of knowledge and collaborative observation and analysis. Together we can do it, even if not in physical proximity, we share a humanitarian space that is concerned with longevity and sustainability of especially the least resourced, among us.

Please read the full piece on the website here and share your thoughts with us about any and all aspects that are troubling you, aspects that you need more support on and so on. We are here and willing to engage in making the online move as nuanced as possible, given the time pressure and urgency of the crisis we are in.

We can do this. We will do this. Together. Now is the time!

Yours in solidarity

Kasturi and Rieta

Kasturi Behari-Leak (UCT) (HELTASA Chairperson)
Rieta Ganas (WITS) (HELTASA Vice-chairperson and CLC Convenor)

# we-can-do-this-together
#CLC-engaging the community- for reflection and change