More than 77% of Wits students want to return to class: poll

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JOHANNESBURG, 29 September 2016 Protesting Wits students have expressed concern over the universitys referendum on whether classes should resume on Monday. The poll was conducted via SMS as well as online.?

JOHANNESBURG - The majority of students at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) support returning to class on Monday.

The institution conducted a poll among staff and students to determine if the university should reopen its doors after protests forced management to suspend academic activities two weeks ago.

WATCH: Wits SRC responds to SMS poll

They were asked whether or not they wanted the academic programme to proceed on Monday, 3 October 2016, should appropriate security be in place.

Wits said SMSs were sent to almost 37,000 cellphone numbers on Thursday morning.

The interim results of the poll indicate that a significant majority of participating students want the academic programme to resume on Monday.

 

 

The SRC, however, says its not happy with the way the poll was conducted, saying it does not touch on the main issue of free education. They say the poll is an attempt to divide them.

The interim results of the student poll are:

YES - 16,739 (77%)

NO - 4,991 (23%)

Total responses: 21,730

Private auditing firm SizweNtsalubaGobodo audited the poll and provided the interim results.

The university is reportedly still waiting for the auditors to verify the results of the staff poll. 

University management said that the results of the poll, as well as feedback from parents, alumni and other stakeholders, will inform its decision-making and it will engage student leadership, unions and stakeholders to find a way forward.

 

 

The decision to re-open Wits will reportedly be communicated to students and staff directly via university communication channels at  the weekend.

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