Catholic university students demand deferral of exams

WITH local health experts feeling it too early for physical resumption of studies in schools or universities in Zimbabwe yet to contain COVID-19 amidst lockdown measures, students at Catholic University of Zimbabwe feel their authorities are unfairly and unreasonably forcing them to write examinations next week Monday.

Evans Mathanda

Development Studies block students are demanding a deferral of the exams.Government recently issued directives for final semester students to resume studies in preparation for examinations at their respective universities on June 1 while for the rest, arrangements would be announced. This was part of the measures to control the spread of COVID-19 in the education system.

And in latest reports, Government said, “Students at the country’s institutions of higher learning will have to wait longer before they set foot on campus as the stated date of reopening tomorrow, does not mean tertiary institutions will immediately open their doors to learners.”

Demanding a later date, these students in their second year’s second semester complain they are writing on June 8, 2020, an announcement made on short notice.

Normally, block release students spend two weeks on campuses having longer hours than conventional students.
With less than a week of learning online towards examinations, these students argue this as being caught unawares given they did not learn anything substantive to face examinations.

“We never did any lectures but they want us to since for exams next week. We are not final year students
“They announced this week thay we are writing next week.

“I am now very confused seriously. We requested a later date but our call fell on deaf ears,” said a student who requested anonymity. “It is reasonable to pay fees in full and write examinations later than the set dates.”
The school authorities in a circular seen by this publication notified Block Release students doing Development Studies, Bachelor of Arts (BA), and the Faculty of Theology examinations start on June 8 ending on June 10.

“Im pleased to announce to you that the University has entered into a partnership with the Catholic University of Avilla (UCAvilla) in Spain for online teaching through which we shall complete what remains on the teaching program for the 2020 First Semester. UCAvilla is traditionally an online university and like ourselves a member of the International Council of Universities of St Thomas Aquinas (ICUSTA),” said the University’s Registrar Dr Sharon Mada in the circular.

She said, “Universities in Zimbabwe as is the case with learning institutions the world over have embraced online teaching as an indespensible mode of instruction in the face of realities of COVID-19.”Dr Mada urged, “all students to embrace this inescapable reality.”

She added that the university will do all it can to support all our students overcome hurdles associated with online teaching and learning.

Aside from Africa University which started online examinations about a fortnight ago, some universities have advised students that exams start in July

Do you have a coronavirus story? You can email us on: news@alphamedia.co.zw

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