Unam students at Oshakati demand hostel

by Nuusita Ashipala

Unam students at Oshakati demand hostel

Oshakati

Close to 200 students from the University of Namibia (Unam) Oshakati campus have threatened to erect shacks on campus if management fails to provide a favourable response regarding student accommodation on campus by February 28 next year.

Students have further threatened to hold the university accountable to pay for laptops, watches and cellphones lost between 2014 and this year on campus.



Students yesterday staged a peaceful demonstration demanding the construction of a hostel.
The students, in a petition handed to the assistant pro-vice chancellor Paulina Uugwanga alleged the Oshakati campus is the only campus without a hostel “amongst 12 other campuses”.

Students further alleged 95 percent of the students rent in the nearby location while others rent in neighbouring towns and are exposed to unhealthy study conditions.

“Whereas some of our students are using candles as a source of light for studying. Whereas some of the students are travelling a distance of approximately 800 metres to fetch water and are exposed to high rental fees,” said the petition which was read by the campus SRC vice-president Willem Kanyondi.

The campus, which was inaugurated in 1998, now has 926 students.
The students further accused the management of prioritizing non-urgent projects such as the construction of the campus main gate, which was allegedly constructed for N$27 million.

This council is also said to be constructing a N$400 million administration block.
“This project is also not a priority at this point in time, not when our students do not have a hostel,” read the petition.

Communications and marketing officer at the Oshakati campus Linus Hamunyela said Unam has acquired the open space adjacent to the campus to construct a new hostel but it is still sourcing funds to construct a hostel and appealed to students to exercise patience.

The demonstration at Oshakati follows another strike held at Unam’s Hifikepunye Pohamba campus where students demanded the removal of a lecturer.

The lecturer is accused of victimising and purposefully failing students.
The Students Representative Council Forum for higher education has also threatened to erect shacks on campuses of universities if the issue of accommodation is not addressed by the beginning of the 2017 academic year.

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