06 Jun 2013 05:40
WINDHOEK, 06 JUN (NAMPA) ? The invigilation process at the University of Namibia (Unam) has always been a core academic function performed by academic staff of the university since its inception in 1992, the institution said on Thursday.
Responding to claims made by the Namibia National Teachers' Union (Nantu) and the Namibia Public Workers? Union (Napwu) earlier this week that invigilation is not an academic function, Unam?s Director of Communications and Marketing, Edwin Tjiramba said the only real issue is with the modalities of invigilation.
In a media statement issued here, Tjiramba said Unam?s management cannot be accused of being unilateral in its decision to take the matter to Senate, adding that the Senate also resolved to reduce the number of invigilation sessions per academic staff member to three; no examinations on Saturdays; and that the last examination on each day ends no later than 19h00.
Nantu stated earlier that the union has been trying to resolve the issue of invigilation with Unam for the past five years, but the matter was instead taken to Unam?s Senate meeting in April this year.
Tjiramba explained that in terms of Section 10 (6) of the University of Namibia Act, No. 18 of 1992, the organisation and superintendence of instruction, examination, lectures, classes, curricula and research shall be vested in the Senate.
Another concern raised by the union was that Unam failed to engage with the recognised unions when it decided to transfer some of its employees to the coastal town of Henties Bay after its decision to convert its research centre there into a fully-fledged campus.
On this issue, Tjiramba said the university acted in accordance with its Policy on Relocation, and provided the affected staff members better terms than what is normally provided.
The affected staff members and the unions were part and parcel of the consultative process, and the unions did not raise any objection at their last meeting in that regard.
According to Tjiramba, a principle decision was taken at the onset of the establishment of the Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources that the Departments of Crop Science and Natural Resources would be relocated at a later stage from Neudamm to the Ogongo campus in the north.
This was implemented in 2000, while the Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences? Department would also relocate to the coast due to the nature of the training.
?With the establishment of the Sam Nujoma Marine and Coastal Resources? Research Centre at Henties Bay, it just makes sense that the department should be relocated to Henties Bay, where facilities have been put in place,? he noted.
The implementation of the relocation to Henties Bay was temporarily delayed due to a lack of resources and facilities.
Since then, Government has generously availed resources towards the construction of state-of-the-art facilities, including hostels for the students.
?Against this background, claims that the university bypassed them in these discussions and consultations are thus unfounded,? he stressed.