UNAM exams postponed after demonstrations

18 Oct 2016 07:40am
WINDHOEK, 18 OCT (NAMPA) - The University of Namibia (UNAM) has postponed its examinations after students at the main campus on Monday protested for all students - including those with outstanding debt – to be allowed to sit for the examinations.
Hundreds of students held a peaceful demonstration led by Student Representative Council (SRC) president Victoria Shipale before handing over a petition to UNAM Vice Chancellor Lazarus Hangula. They say previously, students with outstanding debt were allowed to write examinations and their results were then withheld until they paid. This year, however, they were expected to settle their debt or enter into a settlement agreement with the university before being allowed to write.
The students, some of whom were scheduled to start writing on Tuesday, claim that this was a ‘last minute’ decision, but UNAM spokesperson John Haufiku said this is not the case.
He told Nampa on Monday students were informed in July this year that they will not be allowed to sit for their examinations if they have outstanding fees.
He said students owe UNAM N.dollars 145 million.
“At the beginning of the year, students were allowed to register without having to pay a registration fee and this caused their debt to accumulate. The university however issued a notice in July already to tell them that if they do not settle their debt by the end of the second term, they would not be allowed to sit for the examination,” Haufiku explained.
Shipale was adamant that students would keep demonstrating until their demands are met.
They also claimed that since the timetable was put up on UNAM's student portal, the university has been changing it constantly.
Hangula promised the students that their petition would be referred to the council for a decision in the next two days.