Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU) students have launched an online petition in a bid to force the institution to reverse its decision to hold the graduation ceremony virtually.
ZOU is scheduled to hold its graduation ceremony on 7 December at its Hatcliffe campus in Harare.
However, only a small number of graduands will physically attend the ceremony while others will follow proceedings virtually and this has not gone down well with the students.
In the petition, the students demanded to be allowed to graduate in person. Reads the petition:
We need a united physical graduation for all ZOU graduands (no separation) for whatever reason, ZOU organized graduation at different venues, that is, Belvedere and Hatcliff campuses.
As students we do not agree with that, we do not want to be separated and we do not want virtual graduation.
Graduation day is more important than even acquiring the certificate itself to us as students.
It is our day hence we need to graduate together like what we did when we were oriented during the start of our degree program.
ZOU Corporate Communications Director, Thomas Mahundi told CITE’s Senzeni Ncube that this year’s venue, the Hatcliffe site is under construction hence it accommodates small numbers. Said Mahundi:
The Zimbabwe Open University Management would like to inform its valued stakeholders the class of 2022 that your university remains committed to addressing the students’ plight.
In view of this, management wishes to bring to your attention once again that this year’s main graduation venue, the Hatcliffe site is under construction hence it accommodates a small number.
He added that the rest of the graduands will graduate virtually at their regional campus venues, following proceedings live on ZTV, ZOU’s Facebook page, and link via the ZOU website.
Since 2020 at the height of the novel coronavirus crisis, local universities have been holding virtual graduations, only allowing those with first-class degrees to physically attend the ceremonies. | CITE