Semester moved back a week as students cram for year-end exams

2015-10-26 10:03
Students protest in Durban. (Jeff Wicks, News24)

Students protest in Durban. (Jeff Wicks, News24)

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Durban - After losing more than a month of their academic calendar, University of KwaZulu-Natal students are worried this may impact badly on their performance in final exams.

UKZN students went on strike last month protesting over the closing of the Registration Appeals Committee (RAC).

As a result of the disruption of lectures, the university moved the current semester back by a week. Lectures were also suspended last week after students joined the nationwide fee increment protest.

On Sunday students were racing around campus trying to catch up on lost time. University spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka said it was highly unlikely that the university would move the current semester further back to allow for the recovery of time lost last week, “because of the exams that are coming up”.

Although student representative council members had advised students to protest during the day and study at night, students are still concerned about how are they going to perform during exams.

“I think the exams are going to be close together,” said Nonkwanda Khoza, a student.

“We are going to perform badly and our results are going to show that we did not have enough time to prepare,” she said.

Khoza who marched with hundreds of UKZN students to the Legislature on Friday, said the 0% fee increment was a step in the right direction.

“Our ultimatum goal was free education. Already there are so many people who are financially excluded. Some of us have to get part-time jobs so that we can fund our studies. The National Students Financial Aid Scheme is cutting down funding. I think next we are going to see more protests,” she said.

Silindokuhle Mathenjwa said she was worried that her Duly Performed (DP) will not count.

The DP is a final mark calculated based on attendance and a certain number of assessed tasks and is added to the exam mark.

“This means if you perform badly during your exam, there is no DP to boost your mark,” she said.

Mathenjwa, who said she could not march to the legislature during the protests because “it’s too far”, said she did not know if the protest was over. Worried that exams might continue past the Christmas period, she said, “I might miss out on Choice Assorted biscuits if the protests continue.”

Phindile Ngcobo said the moving back of the current semester had already inconvenienced some people.

“Final year students are already saying that they want to finish their exams and get out of this place. There was talk that if there is another strike, exams might be moved to January,” she said.

Ngcobo, who said she could not join the fee protest as she works part-time to fund her studies, said she was not sure if the protest was over.

“We will only know on Monday [today] if the protest is over,” said Ngcobo.

uMngungundlovu SA Students Congress regional secretary Siyabonga Ngubane said a decision had not been taken on whether to continue with the protest or not. He said they were locked in a meeting last night at the time of going to print.

However, UKZN said they expected the academic programme to resume on Monday without any disruptions.

On Sunday there was high security visibility around campus.

Read more on:    ukzn  |  durban  |  pietermaritzburg  |  education  |  university fees

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