1 February 2013

Namibia: Bravo Unam!


WHEN the University of Namibia (Unam) announced last year that it was going to provide wireless internet on all its campuses countrywide, the news was met with much excitement from students. We were made to believe that the internet was going to be accessible from anywhere around campus.

Unfortunately, for those of us at the main campus, the reality turned out to be different. Foremost, the said internet was only available from within and around the library. Secondly, it was painfully slow. So when the university announced online registration this time around, the general reaction from students was not too positive. Many of us were resigned and cynical about it. And we had a reason to doubt.

However, Unam has, at last, got one thing right and deserves to be applauded for its latest improvement in terms of registering students. Changing from the conventional system where students have to sit in queues for the whole day, the university introduced a smooth, fast and effortless method of registering online. With online registration students can register any day, any time and from any destination, during the scheduled period.

The most exciting thing about online registration is that it takes only about 10 minutes as opposed to several hours, which is the case with the conventional method. Of course, there are still some courses where online registration is not available at present and some students did experience some difficulties while registering. I hope the technicians have picked up on these weaknesses and will work to improve the system so that come next year, every student should be able to register online with minimal discomfort.

I'm saying minimal discomfort because there will always be those who are uncomfortable with change and might prefer the conventional method. That's a fact of life. Change always discomforts people. However, I do believe that with time we will all get used and adapt to it. Online registration is really the way forward and we should strive to only make it better next time.

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