The Durban University of Technology (DUT) continues to commend all its essential workers for their dedication and commitment in providing services to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. DUT’s Communications team’s Waheeda Peters spoke to Ms Hlengekile Lubanyana, a junior lecturer at the Department of Chemistry.
Q: Kindly tell me about your role at DUT?
A: “I am a junior lecturer in the Department of Chemistry.”
Q: How long have you been in that role?
A: “I came to DUT in February 2020 as a part-time lecturer, I have been appointed this year, 2021, in March as a junior lecturer.”
Q: Please describe yourself in a few words?
A: “I am an energetic person who is very passionate about academia. I love scientific research and teaching chemistry to young and inspiring scientists.”
Q: How has it been like working during COVID-19?
A: “Initially it was challenging however as the time progressed, I have adapted to the changes it has caused such as teaching online and conducting all assessment online. The most challenging part was having examinations online because as a lecturer you cannot see if the students are writing the examination themselves.”
Q: How do you deal with the fear of contracting COVID-19 and losing loved ones due to this virus?
A: “I take the COVID-19 regulations and guidelines very serious. I make sure I wash my hands too often, sanitise regularly and always have my mask on in public spaces. I could never imagine the pain endured by people who lost their loved ones due to COVID-19. Therefore, I always emphasize to everyone around me to follow the COVID-19 protocols.”
Q: What is your daily motivation?
A: “Currently, I’m registered for my PhD degree in the Department of Chemistry. My daily motivation is to complete my PhD because I see myself as a senior lecturer in the next few years.”
Q: Please take me through a normal day in your life?
A: “When I first arrive at work, I check and respond to my emails before going over what I’ve prepared to present in class that day. I also prepare for meetings if I have them. I’m currently enrolled in DUT’s academic induction programme and scholarship for Teaching and Learning. If we are given assignments, I usually start working on them before the following meeting. If I have a practical session that day, I would also assist students with practical’s. Later on, I then concentrate on my PhD research.”
Q: What are your thoughts about the vaccine and its importance to students and staff?
A: “I would encourage everyone to get vaccinated so that teaching and learning can get back to normal. I believe currently vaccines are the only solution we have to minimise the mortality rate and other impacts caused by COVID-19. I would encourage all staff and students to get vaccinated.”
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?
A: “I usually get spare time during weekends so normally I spend time with my parents and sister. If I’m not home, I participate in different activities in my church.”
Q: If you had one wish what would it be?
A: “It is for COVID-19 to come to an end.”