Image via: Wikimedia Commons
UWC has responded to the #UWCMustFall hashtag, addressing the issues of exams and a lack of student resources.
Image via: Wikimedia Commons
The University of the Western Cape (UWC) has come under fire for allegedly not supplying its students with the necessary resources such as laptops and data. All this, ahead of mid-year exams. Due to the sheer panic, the #UWCMustFall hashtag was born and students, mainly from the UWC campus, have taken to social media to air their frustrations.
The main grievance on social media seemed to be that UWC did not equip their students with laptops or data ahead of exams that are allegedly supposed to take place as early as next week.
“Signed up for the 30GB data in late April, and still now nothing yet I’m accepted to write exams in 10 days with what data”Twitter user
The Democratic Alliance Student Organisation at the University of the Western Cape (DASO-UWC) also joined in on the #UWCMustFall hashtag saying that the university claims to serve the poor and middle-class students but have failed those same students.
It called for the university to start acting in the interest of students.
The EFF Student Command Branch of UWC said that a mid-year exam timetable has been issued and some students have no resources.
“The mid-year exam timetable has been issued without the basis of ensuring that all students have received data. The lectures have been continuing as if we all have received data and laptops. Assignments are given, lectures are delivered but no data, no laptop!” it said.
In response to the #UWCMustFall hashtag and complaints of a lack of laptops and data UWC placed the following on record:
“We need to reassure all students who did not receive any data, devices or correspondence from the institution that we will be in contact with them over the next two weeks. However, we have also urged these students to email their queries to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will respond to all queries as soon as possible,” it said.
The university said a special and dedicated task team has been set up to identify the most vulnerable students.
“Typically, these are the students who have not been active on our flexible learning management system, Ikamva. The identified students will be contacted by the University within the next month. These students will be phased-in, according to the Level 3 government protocol, for the return to campus,” it said.
The institution said there will be “a catch-up period” in December 2020 and January 2021, which will be held online, and there will be face-to-face sessions for vulnerable students.
UWC has also revised its academic calendar to ensure that students who cannot engage in Term 2, and present mid-year examinations, do so in the December 2020/January 2021 catch-up period.
“There is no obligation for such students to write examinations in this upcoming session. So if students are unable to participate in these exams due to problems related to data, devices or other circumstances, according to UWC assessment principles, they will be allowed to take this exam in January 2021,” the university said.
The University started an appeal, earlier this year, called #NoStudentWillBeLeftBehind when it became clear that a third of its 24 000 student body needed data or devices or both. The fundraising attempt seeks to offset the cost of a device from the student’s account and also helps with the ongoing purchase of data for students at no cost to the students.
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