Unam’s Angula Unfazed By SRC Threats

The University of Namibia (Unam) is sticking to its decision to cancel, suspend and nullify recent written examinations, despite students threatening to drag the institution to court in search of remedy.

Although a compromise was reached between management and students on Monday, Unam Vice-Chancellor Lazarus Hangula has stepped in to enforce the university’s initial decision.

Some Unam students were left seething last week Thursday after the university cancelled their examinations minutes before writing would have commenced, over allegations that question papers had been leaked ahead of exam sessions.

The aggrieved students, some of whom had already sat for the exams, while others were due to write, were told at the last minute that their question papers had been leaked and exams would be cancelled.

The students who challenged the university demanded the pending investigations be handled by an independent body that is in no way connected with the matter.

After Unam nullified the exams, the Students Representative Council (SRC) on Friday threatened the institution with legal action if it did not reverse its pronouncement on the issue.

Management comprising mainly of deans of faculties, heads of departments and directors and representatives of the registrar’s office met with student representatives this week but no consensus was reached.

Unam SRC secretary for information and publicity Ernst Groenewald told New Era on Tuesday that Unam management had agreed on Monday to meet some of the students’ demands, but Unam vice-chancellor, Professor Lazarus Hangula, did not agree with the resolutions agreed upon.

The students had demanded that the three affected written exams should be validated and normal procedures of examinations continue until the completion of the pending investigations, which both parties had apparently agreed to. Hangula, however, rejected that request.

Upon receiving the bad news that their recommendations were rejected, the students on Tuesday staged a peaceful demonstration urging Hangula to change his stance.

“We want to know the way forward pertaining to our demands and why the vice-chancellor nullified recommendations that we agreed upon on Monday,” Groenewald said.

Unam public relations officer for communications and marketing, Johannes Haufiku, said the exam ban remains in place. He said management could only agree to one of three demands from the students, which is to hire a private investigator of the matter.

Specialized Investigation Consultant Services cc (SICS) will conduct the investigations, Haufiku said.

“The ban stands as it is. Nothing has changed. The students had three demands and in response we found that only one demand had some merit in a sense that they wanted an independent investigator,” he said.

New Era has reliably been informed that a certain Sacky Shilongo has since last year December been suspended over alleged leakage of exam papers.

“This guy is an IT technician and had an access security password into the system where the question papers are stored. He used to print and sell them to students. He was busted and he has since been suspended with full pay,” a source who preferred anonymity said.

Haufiku confirmed Shilongo’s suspension but denied that his case had anything to do with exam leaks.

Source : New Era