More chaos at NUL

More chaos at NUL

MASERU-The chaos at the National University of Lesotho (NUL) entered a new chapter this week with the warring parties sticking to their guns.
A group of NUL employees who have been demanding that Acting Vice Chancellor Kananelo Mosito should resign told thepost that they will continue to fight until he leaves.

They said their meeting with Mosito failed to break their impasse.
This, one of them said, is because Mosito dismissed their grievances and “doesn’t take us seriously”.
Yesterday Tanki Khalanyane, one of the eight leaders of the grumbling workers, said they had resolved to appeal to the Council.

“At the same time, the students are losing a lot of time as they are no longer associating themselves with their academics,” Khalanyane said.
“We have made our resolution to draft those grievances afresh then attach his response for the Council.”
In his response Mosito called the workers a shadowy group that is not in “any one of the legislatively-constituted structures” of the university.
He said it is not “any of the labour unions operating within the NUL workforce”.

He said the university gave them a hearing as a “good industrial relations gesture”.
“This however, should not in any way be interpreted as recognition of the group as being representative of either the academic or non-academic cadres of the University staff or the university students,” Mosito said in the 14-page response.

Their petition “was not based on any researched information”, Mosito said.
He said his attempts to understand their grievances were in vain because of their “uncooperative stance”.
He said “there is much to (the petition) than meets the eye” in that the workers confessed in the meeting that they also represent the students.
“The result is that they have a stake in inciting the students to boycott classes,” he said, adding that this “is highly prejudicial to the unsuspecting students”.

About the online teaching and learning which the group says was imposed on staff and students without consultation, Professor Mosito said there is no truth in that.
“The correct information is that the decisions to go online were taken by the Senate after broad consultations with faculties, the senior management of the university as well as the SRC,” he said.

He poured water on the charge that staff and students were unable to access Thuto, a teaching and learning app, because it had stopped functioning.
“It must be accepted that getting individuals such as these petitioners to start using an LMS is a big hurdle to overcome.”

“User onboarding is a multi-faceted challenge, from the lecturers that might not be the most tech-savvy to the students who have little interest in engaging with seemingly complex learning methodology.”
“It is crucial, therefore, to account for the differing needs of each end-user.”
He said familiarity with the LMS’ features can simplify the process.
“The petitioners are therefore advised to familiarise themselves with this LMS’ features,” he said.

On their argument that the online programme is not beneficial to students because the NMDS does not recognise its registration, he said “these petitioners are completely ignorant of what they are talking about”.
“The correct information is that it is the university which provides the lists to NMDS not the online registration,” he said.

He said had they done some research before writing their petition, they would have seen that 8 317 undergraduate students had registered online, 182 postgraduate students are registered and therefore receiving tuition online.
The petitioners had said the online education is a breeding ground for plagiarism.

He said when asked why they did not subject the students’ work to the plagiarism checker tool in the library, they said someone anonymous told them that it had not been paid for.
“When the Librarian told them that the tool was in place and paid for, they were stuck,” he said.

Nkheli Liphoto

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