28 November 2012

Namibia: Outcry Over Chaotic UNAM Exams

Photo: http://www.unam.na/
University of Namibia Students

Windhoek — The University of Namibia Student Representative Council (SRC) is calling for the resignation of the assistant registrar for examinations, John Ockhuizen.

The students are also calling for the immediate release of all examination results. At a mid-day media conference yesterday, Unam SRC president Edison Nengola accused Ockhuizen of disregard and indifference towards students, whom he said are the main stakeholders of the university.

Nengola said the office of the registrar makes decision without proper consultation and communication with the students. "It is clear that the input and advice from students' representatives has continued to be ignored with impunity by this office. This has culminated in chaos being experienced with many students not knowing the mode and operation for the current exams," Nengola charged.

At the centre of the contention is a new examination system, which the students say is not tested and is failing them. Under the new system, only the results of those who have failed and qualified for a supplementary examination have been released, a week after the exam ended. The supplementary exams will only be written next year.

The rest of the students are in the dark, meaning, they have either passed, or failed completely. The old examination system released all the examination results at once.

According to many students who were present at the media conference, the new system puts pressure on the lecturers, since marking and moderation of exam papers is done within one week. They say that creates doubts about the quality of marking. They (students) say they are supposed to be paying for excellent service, but are receiving a disservice from the university instead.

Under the new system, students claim they only have a weekend to study before the exams start, which they feel is inadequate. "The system arbitrarily and maliciously leaves no room for appeal and students who feel prejudiced have no time to appeal results as is the custom at other institutions of reputable standing that employ a similar system," said the SRC president Nengola.

Nengola said Unam has the potential of becoming a leading institution in Southern Africa, but unfortunately it is being run like a 'cuca shop' where decisions only come from top management without consultation.

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