The University of South Africa (Unisa) has announced yet another shuffling of dates, this time for assignments in the second semester of 2020.

“Please note that Unisa’s colleges are in the process of extending the due dates for the submission of assignments. Please be aware that the new assignment closing dates may differ from module to module, and it is important for students to note which dates are applicable to which assignment, reads an announcement from the school.

Students can expect these new due dates from Unisa come 22nd August, though the university has proven time and again that it cannot keep the dates it sets for itself.

While a university moving due dates for assignments may not be remarkable on its own, it’s important because of Unisa’s long track record of doing this for just about everything.

This year both semesters suffered three registration date extensions each, with both brought on by extreme delays when it came to the release of examination results.

Those thinking these delays were caused by COVID-19 would be mistaken, as the first semester problems happened long before the pandemic hit South Africa, and the subsequent lockdown which continues to the present day.

These assignment date changes are necessary as many students have reported being left with a handful of days to submit assignments after finally being able to register.

Submitting assignments is particularly important at Unisa because, for many modules, submission of the first assignment is mandatory. Failing to submit these first assignments can result in students automatically failing their modules, even if said assignments contribute little to the final mark for that semester.

Unisa uses these assignments as a kind of filter to make sure that those who have registered for the module are actually taking part in them, something that can be seen as necessary at a distance education university.

“In the meantime, all students are requested to prepare their assignments in advance to be ready for submission as soon as the extended due dates are announced. Remember that all assignments must be submitted online,” the announcement from Unisa concludes.