Tag: students

By Luis Monzon for IT News Africa

The University of South Africa (Unisa) has been forced to postpone several exams after technical issues interrupted last week’s set of online exams.

Affected modules whose exams have been postponed include those studied by criminology students, as well as those in development studies.s.

Sipho Xukwe, a third-year criminology student told City Press on Friday that he wasn’t able to submit his exam answers during online writing sessions this week because the system was “clogged due to the high volume of exam scripts and question papers.”

Xukwe continues says that while trying to answer questions, “A message popped up saying [the system] cannot hold the number of students trying to submit at one time and others trying to download the exam question paper.”

He says that the most pertinent issue for students is that the university lacked a plan B for students who were not able to submit due to system failures or faults. He says that students who failed to submit because of system issues would have another opportunity to write in October/November later this year. No doubt dreadful news to anyone who has ever had to study for a university-level examination.

The other concern with the shifting of exam dates is that they coincide with the dates of exams of other modules.

“Our concern is how students are going to be able to write five modules for this semester and five modules of the coming semester?” Xukwe says.

He continues to say that the university is fully aware that students won’t be able to write all 10 modules in a single semester. There are already some students that have had to choose between modules to be able to write during the current semester because of coinciding exam dates and times.

City Press writes that students were informed of the exam postponements via SMSs from the institution. In a statement, Unisa said that rescheduling modules to later dates, dates which still fall under the current examination period, is essential to maintaining and improving the system’s performance.

ICT assistance to students

The university says that a number of their students had been assisted when taking and to achieve access to their exams as well as uploading their written scripts.

“Both academics, and the information and communication technology (ICT) team were on standby to support the students so that they could download, write and upload their answers.”

In many modules, Unisa says, students managed well with the exams and didn’t have problems. Academic staff members also assisted the students with extending exam submission times.

The students that were not able to submit their examinations will be provided with other opportunities, such as special examinations, amongst other methods – all of which will be communicated with students at another date, says the university.

Back to school – for some

As parents and children prepare for the beginning of the 2017 academic year in Gauteng, some children still do not know whether they will be able to attend school this year.

According to Oupa Bodibe, spokesperson for the Gauteng Department of Education, on 9 January about 58 000 children still needed to be placed in schools across the province. This means that most of those children will miss the first day of school.

DA Shadow MEC for Education, Khume Ramulifho has reiterated his party’s call that all schoolchildren must be placed by the first day of school. “Gauteng Education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi must prioritise all learners who applied to be placed in schools last year to ensure they start learning from day one,” Ramulifho said.

He lamented that there were still many children who were yet to be placed, despite applying on time.

Ramulifho urged Lesufi to provide more resources to schools with high demand. “These include more classrooms, teachers and materials.” He said parents were put in a difficult financial position when their children were not placed, as they could not budget for uniforms and school fees. Adding that the online registration process should be used to plan and manage placements with necessary resources.

Meanwhile, Lesufi has assured parents that their children will be placed soon. The department has asked for patience from parents, especially those who applied late, highlighting that their children would be placed by at least the end of February.

Source: www.randburgsun.co.za

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