13 February 2018

Namibia: Unam to Probe Report Claiming It Lost Students' Data

Windhoek — Hours after an alarming letter went viral on social media yesterday that the University of Namibia (Unam) had lost all records pertaining to students' first semester marks for 2017, the university management acted promptly to curtail further damage and clarified that the letter is 'false and malicious'.

"The University of Namibia wishes to distance itself from a false and malicious unsigned letter dated 12 February 2018 under the heading 'First Semester Marks of 2017' which is being circulated widely on social media," Simon Namesho, Unam spokesperson yesterday clarified.

When contacted for comment, Namesho revealed that management would engage their internal investigators to get to the bottom of "this unfortunate communique."

When asked if they have linked anyone to it, Namesho said there were no suspects as yet.

The letter in question, which sent shockwaves among the nation, in particular the student community, alleged the Office of the Dean of Students informed all senior students that the university administration office had "unfortunately lost the data of all examination, continuous assessment and final marks of the first semester of 2017."

The same letter alleged this disappearance occurred due to a computer centre staff member who accidently crashed the database, as Unam was transferring marks to the new student management system.

The said letter also notified the students that their final marks would have to be re-collected and re-typed into the system and is purported to have been authored by the Dean of Students, Magreth Mainga.

However, Namesho questioned the authenticity of the letter since its alleged official stamp is from student records while it's alleging to be authored by Mainga, who is the Dean of Students.

"If you investigate the letter, it says student records, but Mainga doesn't work with student records. Also Ms. Mainga's letters are hand-signed with a pen. This one is not signed at all. The language is also quite sloppy... It's not our format of writing," he stated.

"We assure all students and stakeholders that there is nothing wrong with our databases and student marks are not compromised in any way or form. In our view, the letter serves to tarnish the good name of the university and all relevant authorities will be engaged to get to the bottom of this very unfortunate communiqué," asserted Namesho.

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