We just want to write our exams - TUT students

2015-11-23 09:00
A fire at Gencor Hall at Tshwane University of Technology, Soshanguve campus. (@Bennyrikhotso1, Twitter)

A fire at Gencor Hall at Tshwane University of Technology, Soshanguve campus. (@Bennyrikhotso1, Twitter)

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Pretoria - Tshwane University of Technology students are living in fear as the institution is gripped by violent protests that have seen university property damaged.

Students at the university’s Soshanguve campuses have been left in limbo as the institution has postponed examinations due to the ongoing volatile situation. As some students continue with their protests, others are gripped by fear and have been left psychologically scarred.

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Final year Local Government Management student Dan Khoza from Mbombela left the Soshanguve campus on Sunday afternoon seeking a safe haven until the situation stabilises.

“I’m not feeling safe and being here is not an option. I will come back when it’s safe but if the situation doesn’t change, I won’t come back. I just want to be safe,” he said.

Finding a middle ground

Khoza is among hundreds of students who are hoping to see the protest end in order to obtain their degrees. Khoza is left with two modules in order to finish.

“The one thing that is frustrating me the most is the fact that I’m left with two modules before graduation. I was supposed to complete my diploma this year and graduate but with how things are, I just don’t know what will happen,” said Khoza.

He called on university management and protesting students to find a middle ground for the sake of students like him. He said there should be a sit down where both parties will have to make compromises.

Regarding the exams, a demoralised Khoza said the current situation had affected him psychologically.

“We need counselling because of what we saw. A lot of students have been affected by the situation. It’s not all of us who support the protest. It was started by less than 20 people but we are now all affected. Even if we were to write our exams, we are not going to do well. We will not get the marks that we had anticipated and prepared for,” he said.

Other students shared his sentiments. Second year education student from Newcastle Ndo Khumalo said she wished the university could be closed until next year in order for them to be in the correct state of mind when they write their exams.

Students leave the TUT Soshanguve South campus following another violent protest. (Photo from Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

Go home

She said another problem worrying students was running out of essentials.

“I don’t care what happens any more. It’s better they tell us to go home and we will come back next year. We are running out of food while we are left in limbo. It’s really frustrating,” she said.

Ndile Mkhatswa, also an education student who came from KwaZulu-Natal said as much as she wanted to write her exams, she did not believe the current environment was conducive for studying.

“Although I want to write, I don’t think I’m in the right space of mind to write my exams. If we write, we are going to fail. When we study and prepare to write, then there is a strike and that derails everything we have prepared. Right now I’m traumatised by the entire situation and I’m afraid,” she said.

The university on Sunday postponed all examinations at both Soshanguve North and South campuses. It added that “a further announcement” would be made on Monday and that the postponement came “due to the ongoing volatility”.

Three halls were set alight at the Soshanguve campus during a protest.

Read more on:    tshwane university of technology  |  polokwane  |  protests  |  education

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