Protesting students boycott classes at two college campuses

ESAYIDI Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) College students from Kokstad and Umzimkhulu campuses have since last week disrupted operations in both institutions as they protest a number of issues. Engineering students who were writing exams were, however, not disturbed by protesters at either sites.

During protests, students complained about the shortage of infrastructure, lack of computer labs, shortage of N5 lecturers and an irregular distribution of SOP forms for 2016, 2017 and 2018. They also demanded that the institution release results that have been withheld since last year.

Other students said the institution charged them the full subject amount instead of half price for rewriting subjects that they failed.

One of the affected students was Yandisa Simayile from Umzimkhulu who said he failed two subjects in the last semester and was told to pay R2 600 to rewrite the subjects. He said he could not afford to pay this amount.

“In the past, students used to be able to pay 50% of their subject fee and still be allowed to write exams and pay the balance after writing. The institution has shown no sympathy to students who cannot afford it, like me,” he said during the Umzimkhulu protest.

Students from the Kokstad campus closed entrances of the institution, disrupting motorists. Police removed them from the entrance to allow motorists to get inside the institution.

The Kokstad students protested a lack of equipment for practical students as well as not getting the previous year’s results.

A 21-year-old civil engineering student, who asked to remain anonymous, said her maths results have been pending since last year without any clarity from the institution. Another 22-year-old student, who is taking office administration classes, said her retail and wholesale results were being withheld by the institution.

“Since last year, I have been pleading with the institution to release my results however, until today, I got nothing,” said another student.

A student from Kokstad campus, Retabile Mkofo, said several meetings have been held with the management and no positive outcomes have surfaced from them. She said students would stay away from classes until they got proper answers.

Phonecalls to both institutions were not answered for comment at a time of going to press.