The Durban University of Technology (DUT) continues to commend all its essential service workers for their dedication and commitment in providing services to the DUT community during the COVID-19 pandemic. DUT’s Communications team’s Waheeda Peters spoke to lecturer and Head of Programme in the Child and Youth Care Programme within the Community Health Studies Department, Dr Fathima Dewan, who has been at DUT since 2006.
Q: What is your role at DUT?
“I am a lecturer and currently the Head of Programme in the Child and Youth Care programme (Department of Community Health Studies, Faculty of Health Sciences).”
Q: How long have you been in that role
‘I have been a permanent lecturer since 2006. Previous to that I served on a part time basis. I have been Head of Programme since July last year.”
Q: How would you describe yourself in five words?
I am a dedicated, helpful, resilient, dependable and sociable person.”
Q: How has it been like teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic?
“It was difficult at first but now it has become comfortable as the new normal. I had to familiarise myself with new learning platforms such as MS Teams and Moodle while at the same time assisting students to familiarise themselves to the new process of teaching and learning. Teaching online is very different to face to face interaction as it brings a new dynamic to the classroom situation. I also had to become more accommodating to students learning spaces.”
Q: How do you ensure your safety during this difficult time?
“I have been working from home and when I do come to the office or go out to do shopping etc. I take the necessary precautions.”
Q: How do you deal with the fear of contracting COVID-19 and losing a loved one due to the virus?
“I find comfort in praying every day for my well-being and those who are close to me. If one takes the necessary precautions, then it reduces the fear of contracting the virus. We have to adapt our lives to the current situation.”
Q: What does your typical day entails?
“Checking emails, conducting online classes, uploading material for students, preparing online lectures, catching up on administration and marking assessments.”
Q: When not at work, what do you do for fun?
I love going for long drives and picnics with my children.”
Q: If you were not in the healthcare profession, what would you be and why?
“I would be a lawyer specialising in children’s rights. Law was my second career choice and protecting children is close to my heart.”