The drawn out saga of Unisa students waiting for exam results continue today as the university once again gives them an extension to register for the second semester.

Yesterday, 5th August, was the last day for students awaiting results to register for the next semester. This itself was an extension from 24th July.

“If you are registered for the 2020 academic year and are still awaiting semester 1 examination results, please note that you may still add additional modules until Tuesday 11 August 2020. We urge you to add any additional modules as soon as possible and not to wait until the final date of 11 August 2020,” writes the university in an announcement.

To know how we got here it’s worth a quick recap of Unisa’s poor record when it comes to marking examinations over the past year or so. For the first semester of 2020, before COVID-19 had been declared a pandemic or the lockdown initiated in South Africa, Unisa delayed extended registration dates three separate times as problems cropped up in releasing the marks for traditional paper exams.

When the coronavirus then hit South Africa these paper exams were replaced with digital ones, but problems still persisted. Some exams written in May, June and July had still not been returned to students when 5th August rolled around, which has necessitated this latest date move.

These delays in the second semester have caused problems with students trying to study, as they have found themselves with little time to finish assignments or prepare for the upcoming exam period in October and November.

Addressing the latter problem the timetable for these exams will be amended, and they will be available for students in the middle of September. Well, mid-September is the period that the university has announced for the release of this timetable, but as you can see keeping deadlines isn’t exactly Unisa’s speciality.

While all of these delays are happening Unisa is being reviewed by a ministerial task team appointed by Blade Nzimande.