UKZN students to fight mandatory laptop policy

2015-10-27 13:46
(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Durban - The University of KwaZulu-Natal’s student leadership would "strongly oppose" a sweeping move by the institution to make laptops compulsory for first-year students, the SRC said on Tuesday.

News24 revealed earlier on Tuesday that Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Renuka Vithal - in an internal e-mail circulated among staff and students - had aid out the phasing in of Moodle, an online learning portal.

The e-mail was leaked to News24.

Moodle is being used by some staff and students. But according to the e-mail, it would be phased in for all modules in the next three years "to maximise the teaching and learning potential of this system".

"This will mean that all first- and second-year undergraduate students at UKZN in 2016 will have to bring a laptop with effect from 2016," it read.

UKZN Student Representative Council president Nash Khumalo said that students had been blindsided by the move towards a paperless institution.

"It is a requirement for first years and this was something that was never discussed with us. We only saw it on the central applications office's prospectus and it was sprung on us. This is something that we will fight against," he said.

"We are still fighting for fees and now they do this. The majority of students who come here are disadvantaged and can scarcely afford their tuition, never mind a laptop."

"It is highly impractical. We agree that laptops are important, but it cannot be a requirement. It should be encouraged for students who can afford it, but making it mandatory will affect the poor the most. This should have been phased in slowly," he said.

UKZN has been approached for comment, but had not responded at the time of publishing.

Read more on:    ukzn  |  durban  |  university fees

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