SCOT students failed to follow regulations
MBABANE – The High Court will have difficulty addressing the stay of supplementary examinations at SCOT because the students failed to follow the college regulations.
Additionally, the relief sought may only be academic as one of the papers complained of was written yesterday.
"The examinations have already started, Structural Mechanic, for example, is being written as we speak," said Sikhumbuzo Simelane who represented the students in the case.
This was observed by High Court Judge, Mumcy Dlamini, yesterday when the case was called.
The students concerned were also present in court. Mzila Nxumalo represented the college and Minister of Education, Wilson Ntshangase.
The examinations to be stayed are in respect of all second year Diploma in Civil Engineering courses, including Pure Mathematics, Fluid Mechanics and Structural Mechanics.
The students also sought the college and Ntshangase to facilitate and carry out the process of review and remarking their examinations answer sheets and that their final examinations be re-determined after the process of review and marking has been completed.
The students also sought to be permitted to rewrite their final examinations for the academic year 2011/2012 under independent control and supervision of a different lecturer. The incumbent lecturer is Douglas Matsebula.
The students are Nkosingzwele Nxumalo, Mbuso Dlamini, Sakhile Vilakati, Zakhele Maseko, Sicelo Dlamini, Bongani Tsabedze and Comfort Ndlangamandla who were cited as first to seventh respondents respectively.
"The applicants are students in the first respondent (SCOT) and they have just received their final year results indicating that they have failed their second year of study," Simelane stated.
They are allegedly aggrieved by the manner in which their final examinations were marked and the assessment of their results.
The SCOT guidelines for remarking of scripts, among others, state that an application in the form of a letter must be made within five days after release of the results with the registrar, from which the registrar shall convene a meeting with the Board for a direction.
The applicants (students) conceded that they did not make such application. "They ought to have noted an appeal. If they are at fault, how does the court address that?" Judge Dlamini wondered.
The necessity of staying the writing of the supplementary examinations is that if they remarked and the results placed them in a position that makes them eligible to sit for the supplementary exam-inations, they will be able to sit for the examinations.
The case was postponed for Simelane to file his replies to SCOT and Ntshangase’s opposing papers and it will be heard today.
Lecturer’s incompetence allegedly acknowledged
MBABANE – The Swaziland College of Technology allegedly acknowledged Matsebula’s incompetence to teach the relevant courses with the predecessor’s students.
Judge Mumcy Dlamini was of the view that the same treatment should have been accorded the present students. Crown Counsel Mzila Nxumalo conceded that Matsebula was substituted with another lecturer to teach his courses the previous year.
"According to the Principal (Casper Dube), Matsebula is qualified. He holds not just a Diploma, but a Higher National Diploma in Civil Engineering," Nxumalo stated.
The students, in their papers said Pure Mathematics, Fluid Mathematics and Structural Mechanics involve deep mathematic and engineering principles and a tutor in such courses shall have a minimal qualification of a Degree in Civil Engineering.
The students said Matsebula had seriously visible difficulties explaining and working out examples of what he was teaching them on the board, including failure to make calculations and explaining solutions to the students.
Matsebula allegedly lacked knowledge of the content and principles of the courses he lectured.
The students ended up lecturing themselves, they alleged.
They also said they further assisted Matsebula to solve lecture problems which he failed to lecture them on. The dissatisfaction was reported to the principal in October 2011, but he failed to resolve their dissatisfaction and grievances.
Their predecessor students allegedly had the same problem which was solved by bringing in a different lecturer to assist Matsebula.
The matter was reported to the ministry which sent an inspector of colleges, who directed SCOT and Matsebula to implement his recommendations.
The Principal, Casper Dube refused to give them the report stating it was confidential.
Judge Dlamini recommended that the relevant information be extracted from the report and not the whole ‘confidential’ report be handed over to the students.
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