Unisa’s October/ November exams

Unisa’s October/ November exams

Date Published: September 22, 2020

Unisa has just released a statement indicating that all future examinations will be held online. 

After having their online examination trial run in May/June of 2020, UNISA now feels prepared to continue with this form of examination. 

Yet again, UNISA’s underprivileged students will suffer as a result of this change. 

What you need to know

Unisa’s October/November examinations are set to be held online. Their statement revealed the following about the nature of the final year exams:

  • Most modules will require a device: With the October/November examinations moving online, most subjects will require students to have a smartphone, tablet, Ipad, laptop or desktop device. 
  • Students will need data: In order to complete the online examinations, students will require data. For the May/June examinations, UNISA helped students out with data through a contract with MTN. This way, data was available for all students that required it. 
  • Some modules will require additional technical specifications: Specific modules will require webcams and high-speed internet for the completion of the end-year examinations. 
  • All requirements will be published with the timetable in due course: With the release of the timetable, all students will be made aware of the requirement needed to successfully write their end-year exams. 

Left in the dark

Once again, the ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic have left many underprivileged students in the dark. 151 317 students that attend the University of South Africa are funded by NSFAS. That means that out of the 420 000 students, nearly 40% are from severely low income households. 

This goes without mentioning the students who are barely able to pay their academic fees and can’t afford luxury items like smartphones, tablets, ipads or laptops.

All of these students that attend UNISA will struggle with the future of online examinations, especially modules that require additional technological support like webcams and high-speed internet. 

UNISA has not yet taken any precautionary measures to ensure that their underprivileged students can write their future examinations. This is especially concerning as the underprivileged students need their tertiary education the most. Without it, they will struggle to break the chain of cyclic poverty. 

Author: Andrea Frisby 

Published: December 1, 2020

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