Unam Refuses to Validate Exams

THE University of Namibia’s Vice-Chancellor, Lazarus Hangula, yesterday refused to revoke the decision to cancel three examination papers in defiance of an earlier decision by an ad hoc committee.

On Thursday, Unam withdrew four examination papers alleging that they had been leaked. Those withdrawn are Human Resource Management, Strategic Marketing and Financial Management as well as Management Information Systems and Operations Management.

On Friday, the students’ representatives gave the university an ultimatum, threatening to sue if the decision to withdraw the papers was not revoked by Monday at 10h00.

An ad hoc committee made up of lecturers and students’ representatives met on Monday afternoon and agreed to declare the examinations valid.

Student representatives’ secretary for information and publicity Ernest Groenewald yesterday confirmed this.

Groenewald said they had agreed that all the exam papers that were already written should be marked and declared valid, and that there would have been a second opportunity examination for those who qualify as per university rules (45% to 49%).

He also said that those who left the country for holidays but had qualified for the second opportunity, could still write the examination during the first week of August 2014.

The students had also requested that the university appoint an independent body to investigate the leak.

“All the results for these modules would have been withheld until the investigations were done on 30 July 2014. This excluded those who qualify for second opportunity examinations,” said Groenewald.

However, all of this changed when Hangula met the students’ representatives yesterday and told them that the decision would stand and that the examinations might be considered after an investigation.

Although Hangula was not available for comment yesterday, the SRC president, Adrie Hendricks, told The Namibian that the vice chancellor had stood by the decision to withdraw the examination papers.

Unam spokesperson John Haufiku also confirmed Hangula’s stance on the decision to cancel all four examinations and to keep earlier decisions.

“They only gave in to one of our demands, which is that the university appoint an independent body to conduct the investigation,” said Hendricks.

She said a Specialised Investigations Consultant Service (SICS) will be appointed to investigate the events surrounding the leak. An official at the SICS could however not confirm whether they were contacted for the investigation.

Angered by the decision, about 80 students gathered at the university’s main campus to demonstrate, while Groenewald said they will file a court application.

“They failed to meet our demands, so we will file a court application,” said Groenewald.

Source : The Namibian