Report to determine whether striking Tvet students return to class

2017-04-19 14:20
Msunduzi College Tvet students leaving the campus on Tuesday after being informed that classes remain suspended.

Msunduzi College Tvet students leaving the campus on Tuesday after being informed that classes remain suspended. (Thabang Mathebula)

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The contents of a report by the management of the Msunduzi Tvet College today will determine whether students go back to their books.

It is almost a month since a strike by students began and there is a growing fear among them that they won’t be adequately prepared for their semester exams, which start in 22 days.

Students embarked on the strike after common ground could not be found with the college management on the issue of student allowance funds from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).

The strike stopped the quarterly assessment tests that were being written before the college closed for the Easter break.

The student representative council (SRC) is now worried that students, having already missed out on much work during the strike, will be overwhelmed by their workload should they decide not to return to class.

The SRC also raised concerns that should the strike be abandoned, without their demands being met, students who are directly affected by the allowance fund issue would feel neglected by their own student body.

Upon engaging with college management yesterday, the student body said the assessment tests will be written immediately after students agree to return to class.

With the second part of the Tvet’s annual calendar resuming yesterday, scores of students stood despondently in small groups around the campus after the decision was taken that classes remained suspended.

Students boycotted classes as they await the college management report, which is expected to be out on Wednesday.

Members of the SRC said that the contents of the report will determine whether the students return to class or not.

The report is believed to contain feedback on issues that caused the students to embark on the strike, including the explanation of deductions from the students’ allowance funds.

According to college policy, to qualify for the reimbursement, each student is required to have an 80% attendance record in each academic year.

Students complained that they were penalised as a result of the many days lost during last year’s strike.

Another concern is that students from four other campuses under uMgungundlovu­ Tvet received their full allowances, without any deductions, even though they were on strike as well.

Central president Sphume Mbanjwa said he is adamant that classes will resume on Wednesday after engaging with college management on Tuesday on students’ demands.

He said management has agreed to correct the money issue, which has dragged for months.

“I am confident that students will agree to return to class on Wednesday and resume with the assessment tests they missed before school closed,” said Mbanjwa.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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