CLOSE to 50% of Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) students scheduled to write exams that were previously postponed, opted to write yesterday as a two-day student and worker protest on campus ended.
Students were given the option of writing at 4.30pm yesterday or on Saturday, given the uncertainty of when the protests might end and how the students’ safety could be ensured.
NMMU management, striking protection service employees and unhappy students reached agreement shortly after lunch to end the protests, return to work and continue its engagement towards seeking solutions around various issues, including transformation.
Confirmation of earlier communication about the exam options was immediately dispatched via text message to all students.
Some 4 200 students were affected when exams were postponed on 10 June because of a province-wide taxi and public transport strike. The University rescheduled the exams over two evenings at the start of the second semester.
The University acknowledged that both staff and students had been highly inconvenienced by the uncertainty around the hosting of exams, but was not in favour of postponing them again.
Students had put time, effort and resources into preparation for the rescheduled examinations. Many had made a special journey to return to NMMU to write what would be their final exam, including several international students. Others only needed to complete and pass the outstanding exam to complete their qualification.
Given the uncertain circumstances, all students scheduled to write yesterday were also given the option of writing on Saturday. Venues and times for these exams will soon be communicated to the students concerned. Today’s 4.30pm exam will go ahead as planned as lectures and all academic activities have resumed at NMMU.
Examination staff who were on standby throughout the day to host the scheduled exams reported no incidents bar an exam venue that was locked at Missionvale Campus. Only five of the almost 100 students who were scheduled to write in the venue arrived for the exam. All will now write on Saturday.
Tel: +27 (0) 41 504 1111
Fax: +27 (0) 41 504 2574 / 2731
PO Box 77000, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
Port Elizabeth, 6031, South Africa
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