South Africa 26.4.2017 06:11 am

Victory for students as Unisa agrees to postpone exams

Unisa students protest at the main campus during a shutdown a week prior to their exams, students are saying they have not recieved their study materials and therefore cannot write their exams, 25 April 2017, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

Unisa students protest at the main campus during a shutdown a week prior to their exams, students are saying they have not recieved their study materials and therefore cannot write their exams, 25 April 2017, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

Students embarked on protest action last week, claiming that the institution did not hand out study materials to some of them on time.

Students at the University of South Africa’s main campus, in Pretoria, are set to go back to class on Wednesday after vice-chancellor Professor Mandla Makhanya’s decision to postpone their exams to June.

Students started protesting last week, demanding that management postpone exams.

The exams were scheduled to start on May 2, but management postponed them to June after claims by students that the institution did not hand out study materials to some of them on time.

Makhaya met the student representative council on Tuesday to discuss their demands after SRC members prevented students from making use of the library, forcing them to take part in the strike as a show of solidarity.

Student activist Dave Mamaregane said it was not fair that some students were studying while others did not have study materials to prepare themselves for exams.

He said the institution gave study materials to a small number of students and others received their study materials late.

Mamaregane said the institution had ample time to distribute books to students, but took four months to do so.

“If students fail to receive their study materials, they are going to fail and NSFAS is going to stop giving them funds, which means they are not going to finish their studies,” Mamaregane said.

He added that the newly introduced style of learning, e-learning,  made it difficult for students to complete their work in time, due to lack of resources.

“Students struggle to submit their work on time because we have limited computers and we have lots of students,” he said.

Mamaregane added that the institution should give students tablets to help them complete their work on time.

He also said that everything would be back to normal today, despite management’s failure to act on all the protesters’ demands.

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