Many countries around the world, including South Africa, are undergoing a pandemic. The COVID-19 virus is a highly unpredictable virus and can have different effects on different people. The country is now undergoing a nationwide stage 3 lockdown in order to reduce the spread of this potentially deadly virus. We have also been told by His Excellency Cyril Ramaphosa (The Chancellor of the University of Mpumalanga) to make sure that social gatherings are discouraged in order to lessen the spread of the virus. With the new strain of the virus, the spread is increasing rapidly and cases are also rising.
The impacts that the virus has on everyone is still unknown as it varies from person to person though recent news has confirmed that the South African strain of the virus is highly dangerous. It is said to be more deadly than the original strain of the virus.
However, students from the University of Mpumalanga are being forced to write exams on campus which means gatherings of more than 80 people would occur, risking lives of not only the students, but also of the parents of these students, the lecturers, workers on the campus, and everyone else that these people may be in contact with.
We are expected to write 3 hour exams while wearing masks and inhaling our own carbon dioxide, while also stressing about the exam itself and the heat.
Many universities in South Africa and globally have written final exams online, and we could do the same. These include universities such as Stellenbosch University, University of Cape Town, University of Johannesburg, and the University of Witwatersrand.
We, as students, are asking for you all to sign this petition to show that we are trying so hard for our safety. We should not be fighting, we should not be asking, we should not even be having this conversation. Yet, here we are, asking others for help in trying to help the management of the University of Mpumalanga understand that we are risking our lives for something that has an alternative.
The students at UMP