By Kudumo Bernhold
RUNDU, June 18 – Student representatives of the University of Namibia’s Rundu Campus are pleading for the removal of data restrictions that were implemented when Unam partnered with MTC to provide data for the students.
The restrictions included not using social media platforms such as WhatsApp, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.
At a press conference on Friday, Rundu Campus deputy president, Mukoya Vernet, said that, when MTC and Unam partnered, they agreed that MTC would provide 55GB of data of which 15GB would be used for general purposes and 40GB for E-learning. He further stated that the data restriction policy should be lifted because most of the learner-lecturer discussions happen on social media platforms such as WhatsApp and Twitter.
He said that on receiving their cards the students began to realise that there were a lot of restrictions including educational apps and also educational websites. One of these apps is WhatsApp where most of the communication is done between students and lecturers. Most of the important information that is shared by the lecturers is on WhatsApp groups. So blocking those apps is not in line with the current reality.
Apps like YouTube were also blocked and that does not make sense, as YouTube is where students pursue more information in case the lecturer is not available. Being blocked makes it harder for the students to access important information.
He concluded that such restrictions must go because they want to access more information. What also does not make sense currently is all students are on face-to-face studies and the 40GB for E-learning is lying idle in the cards. Let the 55GB be used by the students to access information because they are paying the connectivity fees and it’s not right to restrict them for not accessing important information that is very useful to their studies.
If the demand is not met by Wednesday, 22 June, he said, students will shut down all campuses until the demand is met.
Students are not against the university but want justice and fairness, Vernet added. – Namibia Daily News