[intro]2016 was a tough academic year, with students seeing drastic disruptions to their academic programmes. THABANG MOSELANE speaks to students about the effect the protests had on their academic performance.[/intro]

Calvin Hughton, 2nd year Education student

Cavin HughtonI failed a module and I blame the student protests for that. I study and work very hard to keep good grades and to think that I was not part of the protests is a sickening thought. I missed important work as I was forced to go home. If it weren’t for the student protests I would not be wasting another year and money on a module I did last year. My parents don’t even know because I do not want to let them down. The last time I attended class was in September 2016. Some of the chapters weren’t covered by the lecturers and many of us missed test opportunities because of the protests and to add to the plate, we had a long ‘break’ when a handful of students decided to interfere with the academic programme. For over five weeks classes were suspended – we weren’t learning and some of us were forced to go home. I wasn’t part of the student protests but if it weren’t for them I would have passed all my modules.

Kopano Sepeng, 3rd year Journalism student

Kopano SepengIt was very difficult to write exams on work we didn’t touch base on in class and having to do everything online was great but that had some negative effects towards the academic performance of students. The student protests hindered the academic performance of students to a certain degree.

Mandla Dube, 2nd year Agricultural Science student

Mandla DubeI was on the verge of failing – my Math and English marks were really low and I was scheduled to write examinations for two modules but because of the protests I ended up not writing any examinations. The lecturers used our mid-year marks and complied a report card based on that and I passed. Had I written those examinations I would have failed but I ended up not writing because of the protests and I passed all my modules. Thank God for the protests!

Amolemo Kaomo, 3rd year Genetics student

Amolemo KaomoWe missed out on class time and lectures and we had to cover most of the remaining work by ourselves and by the time we had to write our second test I feel as if we weren’t fairly tested on the work that we were taught in class. Some of the work was not taught to us and by the time we got to examinations it was a disaster. I know so many people who failed and I consider myself blessed.

Sechaba Makuapane, 2nd year Education student

Sechaba MakuapaneIt is all about mind over matter. If you want something bad you will fight for it, that’s what I believe. For instance, my caretaker pays a lot of money for me to be here so all I can do to show gratitude is to give my best not just to her but to the One above because other people will do anything to get the opportunity that I have.

Courtenay Oliphant, 3rd year Journalism student

Courtenay OliphantStudents have a conscious choice of whether they want to study or participate in the protest. Deciding to take part in the protests is another conscious decision you make to neglect your academics. However, if you do decide to protest, you can at the same time, control and manage both academics and the protests. So student protests cannot be blamed for the low academic performance of students.

Kekeletso Badiri, 3rd year Corporate and Marketing student

Kekeletso BadiriNot in my case. I just didn’t study, period. I was never at the night vigil, I was never at the gate singing. I had everything that I needed, I just didn’t use it.



What do you think? Are student protests to be blamed for the low academic performance of students?