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 lecturer, Dr Prinavin Govender in the Information Systems Department in the Faculty of Accounting and Informatics.
Q: Kindly tell me about your role at DUT?
A: “I am an academic, a lecturer, a teacher in the Information Systems Department in the Faculty of Accounting and Informatics.”
Q: How long have you been in that role?
A: “Since 2000, in January 2021, I will be celebrating 22 years in higher education with hundreds if not thousands of IT (Information Technology), IS, End user, programming and generally IT students who have either attended my lectures or had their assignments, test scripts or examination papers marked and graded by me.”
Q: Please describe yourself in a few words?
A: “I am a family man committed to family values and traditions and in my role at the DUT, I have found my calling as a teacher. If I had to have a tombstone- it should read: Here lies a family man who taught well! I did not set out to be a teacher, educator, lecturer, academic life kind of navigated me into such a career path. I now believe that IT was a divine calling, my destiny.”
Q: How has it been like working during COVID-19?
A: “It’s been taxing. I miss the interaction with my students, their confused faces and the smiles. Students laughing or pretending to laugh at my jokes and the look of dismay when I attempt to either confuse them or scare them into an assessment. The feeling of adoration to have lots and lots of eyes and ears watching my every action and listening to my every word. The prancing up and down, invigilating in an examination venue. Remote teaching and learning has confined me to a laptop screen; locked me down into lecturing to a webcam and talking into a microphone.
It’s been hard and even though I tried to teach at my best; I am a social being and given that since time immemorial teaching and learning was a face-to-face activity, I would like to go back to pre-COVID teaching/learning and assessment or at the very least a hybrid of face-to-face Teaching/learning and assessment and online teaching/learning and assessment. (I do want to cater for my part-time students who found IT especially beneficial to attend my lectures during their office lunch breaks and evenings at home).”
Q: How do you deal with the fear of contracting COVID-19 and losing loved ones due to this virus?
A: “In heeding the scientific analysis of quantitative and qualitative COVID-19 statistics, I have taken the vaccine and have encouraged family and friends and students to follow suit. I also follow all COVID-19 protocols and encourage others to do so too. I think that if we take the necessary precautions we should be ok.”
Q: What is your daily motivation?
A: “Let’s spread Compassion, Altruism, Respect, Empathy to our students, student’s lives matter.”
Q: Please take me through a normal day in your life?
A: “My immediate family is my number one top priority. My outlook diary and email dictates my daily activities, that includes scheduled lectures, meetings and tasks. Backward chaining ensures I accomplish daily activities.”
Q: What are your thoughts about the vaccine and its importance to students and staff?
A: “It’s been proven to be effective against the virus, I have taken it and so should all staff and students.”
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?
A: “Surfing the internet.”