By Bongani Tshabalala
BLOEMFONTEIN-Students from the University of the Free State (UFS) are frustrated by the challenges they are encountering with online registration.
Some are worried that it could delay the start of their academic programme. They say some classes have commenced while they are not yet registered. Students say the registration has been extended to Friday as many students are still struggling to register.
Long university registration queues are now a thing of the past. Most universities have now switched to online registration due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, online registration has its share of challenges. Many students do not have sufficient data or struggle with poor internet connectivity, while some say they struggle to get assistance from the university when they experience problems with online registration.
“As a senior student, the challenge that I’m facing right now is that classes have started and I still haven’t registered so they extended registrations till Friday but a lot of us still have no academic data summary,” says a student. “The current challenge now is that when students get here, they are told: you must wait for the SMS from the school.” says another student.
“We applied, they sent only the link and so on. The link has no student number. The problem that we have now is the student number because it is required now,” adds another student. The Student Representative Council (SRC) has appealed to management to further extend the registration period. UFS SRC Deputy Secretary-General Kamohelo Seleke says they are also calling for a catch-up plan for students who are left behind with their academics.
“We have noticed that most students are finding difficulties in terms of registering, some having academic or financial blocks. This is the reason why we have called for an extension of registration. We’re further making a call to the institution to say they must further extend registrations to the 12th of March to ensure that most students are not left behind,” says Seleke.
The University of Free State is yet to respond to challenges raised by the students. Meanwhile, the online registration process will commence on Friday at the Central University of Technology (CUT). CUT spokesperson, Seithati Semenokane, says only a few students will be allowed at the university if they struggle with online registration.
“Our registrations will be starting on Friday, it will be done online and we have a step by step video for our prospective students, and should students feel the need to come on campus we will be helping them at the limit of 50 people at a time. Unfortunately this year we are not letting in any walk-ins. So unfortunately if you have queries you will be turned away. We suggest that you ??? make a phone call first just to see how you can be assisted.” says Semenokane.