Strike over exam dates

2019-03-13 06:00
PHOTO: suppliedStudents protesting outside Unisa on Monday.

PHOTO: suppliedStudents protesting outside Unisa on Monday.

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LECTURES were disrupted at Unisa Pietermaritzburg Campus on Monday as students embarked on yet another strike as they still have not received their allowances from National Students Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).

What has further infuriated students is that their examination dates have been brought forward to April from May and they are now being forced to pen their exams without having looked at any study material.

Students barricaded Langalibalele Street with burning tyres and the members of Public Order Policing (POP) were called to disperse them.

Provincial secretary of the Students Representative Council (SRC) Andile Ndaba told Echo that classes will not proceed until students have received their allowances and examinations are moved back to May.

He said this is a provincial shut down and no Unisa campus is going to function until these problems are resolved.

“Students were promised that they will receive their allowances from February 28 but not a single student has received it, yet they [students] are expected to finish their assignments that are due this month and also prepare for examinations that have been brought forward to April. How are students going to do all of this because they do not have any books since they have not received their allowances?” he asked.

Ndaba said last Thursday an urgent meeting was held with the vice chancellor and other stakeholders involved which included the students’ funding director to obtain clarity as to what was causing the delay in paying students their allowances.

He said the meeting did not go as planned because they did not get the answers they were looking for.

“Students’ funding director did not pitch for a meeting instead she sent someone to represent her and that person didn’t have the answers that we were looking for.

“As SRC we are sick and tired of this because at the end of the day we want to study and pass. National Students Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) confirmed that they paid the money to the university but when we enquire about it at students’ funding office no one wants to give us answers as to what is delaying the payments if the money is there. Everyone is hiding in the bush.”

He further accused the university of choosing the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) over its own students.

“The university changed the examination dates because they want to accommodate the IEC but when students have issues it becomes a problem to change the examination dates. If the university wants to change examinations dates they must change it to June because there are still students who are not yet registered,” said Ndaba.

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