Namibia: Students Vent Fury Over System Breakdown

Several students who completed their studies at the University of Namibia last year might miss out on the annual graduation ceremony next week after the university reportedly failed to clear outstanding accounts in time.

The graduation ceremony is expected to take place on 16 April.

Students further accused Unam's I-enabler system of crashing, leading to a loss of crucial student information and academic records submitted at registration time. The student portal allows one to submit and update documents.

Students were asked to re-submit their academic documentation before 30 March 2021 to be cleared and their names to be sent to the graduation committee.

However, they said Unam failed to update student records on time before the graduation committee approved the submitted names for booklets to be printed for those going to attend the ceremony.

Due to these delays, students are unable to graduate and are now demanding that Unam release their academic qualifications so that they can apply for jobs.

Unam spokesperson John Haufiku confirmed knowledge of the issue.

"We are aware of the complaints and management is meeting shortly to discuss the students' concerns," Haufiku responded yesterday.

One affected student from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences was highly disappointed in Unam's systems, saying: "Now we are victims of their mess. I paid off my fees, but the system has been showing that I have outstanding fees and as a result, I won't be allowed to graduate or obtain my qualifications," the student, who refused to be named, told New Era.

Another student complained that she was shortlisted for an interview as a social worker at the ministry of gender and wants her academic records to show that she indeed obtained her qualifications.

"I was told by Unam that I have not been approved for graduation due to an outstanding grade 12 certificate which I submitted before the deadline they had set. This can cost me my job. Will Unam employ me if I lose this opportunity?" she queried.

Unlike other students, who had received a notice that they have outstanding fees or documents, another student's portal just said, 'results withheld'.

Upon enquiry he was told not to worry because he is on the graduation list but another Unam staff member told him he was not on the list.

"Why is it that the assistant faculty officer and the faculty officer tell us different stories? It is very unprofessional for such a big university to operate in this confusion that ends up hindering students from graduating," he reacted.

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