RUNDU - The National African Student’s Association (NASA) has called on institutions of higher learning in the country to resume face-to-face classes.
This was said by NASA president, Ambrosius Haingura, at a media briefing held in Rundu on Wednesday. Haingura claims that institutions of higher learning have either failed to roll-out e-learning during the 2020 academic year or are facing challenges to implement online learning, which consequently leads to many students being affected adversely.
“We have it on factual ground to say that the institutions of higher learning that have chosen to go the e-learning route have either failed or are unable to facilitate the e-learning programme.
We start with the University of Namibia (Unam). In the 2020 academic year, it was a challenge. Many of our students or members found it hard to carry out online activities. For reasons such as late registration and due to a lack of internet access,” Haingura said.
A third-year education student at Unam, Joolokeni Jason also indicated that the university failed to execute online learning due to technical challenges as the e-learning system is congested, especially during examinations. She further urged Unam to reduce its tuition fees should it continue with online learning.
“I personally think that if the University of Namibia continues with these online services, then they should reduce the tuition fees because at the end of the day we are paying a lot of money for the knowledge we are not receiving from the university.
We are still required to pay huge amounts of money,” Jason stressed. Jason called on the universities to resume face-to-face classes as online learning is faced with numerous challenges that particularly affect students. In addition, Jason said, the university should not introduce face-to-face examinations while offering online classes.
“You cannot render face-to-face examination for a module, which was taught online. If the module was taught online then let us all write an online examination. If we were taught face-to-face then let us write face-to-face examination,” Jason said. The student further noted that the online learning mode of study has delayed the completion of the 2020 academic year.
He referred to the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST), which extended last year’s academic year to 2021 to complete outstanding work. Haingura also encouraged the Namibia Student Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) to reconsider its decision not to fund diploma students, saying that this has excluded many students from furthering their education.