Protesters halt exams at University of Limpopo

2015-10-21 12:59
University of Limpopo protest. Time Traveller, via

University of Limpopo protest. Time Traveller, via (Twitter)

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Protesters at the University of Limpopo forced students writing exams on Wednesday to abandon their papers as resistance to increases in tuition fees continued to spread around the country.

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Four private security guards were pushed aside by the crowd so protesters could gain access to one of the exam halls, with reports that official vehicles were damaged too.

The protesting students, who initially gathered at the entrance to the university, reportedly also knocked over rubbish bins before moving from one lecture room one to another.

Students were ordered to abandon their exams, and there were reports that invigilators were pushed out of exam rooms.

The morning and afternoon sessions have been officially cancelled.

“The exams were disrupted due to the national call by Sasco and we will reschedule the papers that were to be written today to a later date,” said university spokesperson Kgalema Mohuba.

"The students have not raised anything with us now, but we were hoping to meet their delegation later."

Impossible to continue studying

Students have echoed concerns from around the country that fee increases would make it impossible for them to continue with their studies.

Leaders from different student organisations addressed members earlier.

EFF student leader Isaac Hlungwani said the uprising and protest against fees was to champion the interest of the students.

One student, who suggested that exams should resume in January, was booed, and had to be protected by student leaders from other angry students.

Sasco and other organisations said they opposed an increase, and wanted Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande to consider a 0% increase.

Students all over the country launched the protests against fee increases. Analysts believe inadequate funding by the National Students Financial Aid Scheme's (NFSAS) was a major problem.

Students opposing the protest said they believed the issues could be addressed in the boardroom.

“I am one of the post graduate students, and I had hoped that I could finish the paper so that I could be ready for the workplace,” said one concerned student.

But others said the disruptions helped them because they were not adequately prepared to write exams.

The university management said it would analyse the situation and decide on the best option to solve the crisis.

Read more on:    university of limpopo  |  polokwane  |  protests  |  education  |  university fees

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