While still processing registrations for the 2022 Academic year, the University of South Africa (Unisa) has been called out by its National Student body to provide clarity on a number of issues stipulated on its memorandum of demands.
These range from the reopening of Telecentres, lack of service delivery at DSAR, The Decentralisation of its functions to Lack of service delivery at DSAR.
The distance learning institution has stated that the project to conduct audits of digital access centres (telecentres) has been delayed due to challenges brought about by the Covid-19 Pandemic as well as the civil unrest that occurred in some parts of the country in July.
As a result of this, only 25 of the 59 telecentres subjected to the audit met Unisa’s requirements, and ManCom resolved on the renewal of contracts for these telecentres for six months.
Unisa has also issued an Expression of Interest (EoI) for more telecentres, which is being managed through the university’s supply chain processes.
The National Student Representative (NSRC) also included the decentralisation of the Department of Student Administration and Registration (DSAR) on its list of demands. The NSRC argues that there has been a lack of service delivery in the Department.
The university has since responded stating that the absence of staff at the various service centres has been the result of office closures due to positive Covid-19 cases and labour unrest, which has hampered service delivery.
Unisa also pointed out that in its current form, it operates on an open distance e-learning model, which does not provide for a full regional academic and administrative competence
Adding that the provision of administrative services such as finance, dispatch, examinations and graduations will be determined by the proposed regional model, which is still being considered by Council.