“Our education is not a game, so do not play with it.”
These stern words from the president of the Law Students’ Council (LSC), Yusuf Peer, received loud applause from students gathered outside the Olive Schreiner building this week.
The gathering on Wednesday afternoon followed an e-mail sent on February 17th by the head of the law school, Jonathan Klaaren, requesting all third year students to deregister from the jurisprudence course.
The class was overcrowded and students said it was due to a lack of planning by the school in the implementation of the new curriculum.
In a memorandum handed to the school’s management the law students said they were disappointed in the school for the manner in which the new curriculum was implemented. After negotiations on Monday 20th, when students gathered for the first time and came up with a plan of action, solutions were reached with management.
“In our negotiations [with management] students have a choice to either deregister or not. If they do deregister, they will have to take two electives for the year,” said Peer.
SRC acting president Tebogo Thothela showed their support during the gathering.
“We’ve noted the lack of planning from management. We will be taking this to the highest body of management, which is Senate, so that in the second semester you [students] do not experience the same problem,” said Thothela.
Deputy head of school, Prof Mtewendeka Mhango, was present at both public gatherings. He happily accepted and signed the memorandum in front of all students present and said: “Today is a victory for all of us … What you asked for is what you got.”
“As a school we are here because of you, we definitely want this new curriculum to be implemented successfully and to the satisfaction of everybody.
We will do our best to see that there is a smooth implementation of the curriculum,” said Mhango.
Peer assured students that deadlines for tests and assignment due dates will be reviewed after students make amendments.
Students will also not have to pay any fees for late registration as they have been given special leeway.
A planned protest by the students was averted through discussions and negotiations between LSC and managemnt earlier in the week.