By Caelyn Woolward & Kelley Wake
Pic by: Matthew Theijssen
At the most recent student body meeting, the Student Representative Council (SRC) announced that it was decided that swot week will be divided up into swot days and there will no longer be exams on Saturdays in 2010.
Although it has not yet been finalised, the later plan is to have two swot days followed by four days of exams. At another stage during the exam period there will be another three swot days followed by a further four days of exams. This will ensure that the exam period is shortened to make provision for the 2010 World Cup.
SRC president, Kholosa Loni, said that swot breaks will definitely happen next year. A trial run was initially planned to take place during the June/July exams this year. This was abandoned, however, as the registrar failed to produce the required mock time table. A trial run of the new system will take place in this year’s November exams.
Dean of Students, Dr Vivian de Klerk, said, “I’ve noticed that many students find it hard to focus only on swotting for the full swot break – it takes a lot of self-control. They are the ones who stand to benefit from the proposed change.”
Loni declined to comment further on the matter, as the SRC had not received enough information regarding the upcoming changes. The SRC will, however, take a stance when they have received adequate information.
Swot week first started in 1975 after a series of student protests and some students feel it is unjust that the University is taking something away that previous Rhodes students fought for. Tatum Holloway, a first year BJourn student, said, “I will fight for swot week, I need it. At the moment I have assignments and tests for this week and next. If I didn’t have a swot week I would not have enough time to prepare and wouldn’t do as well as I want to.”
Portia Gumede, a second year BCom student, agrees, and said that she “thinks it is ridiculous. That week was set for learning; if we have breaks in between exams we will become too distracted. During swot week we plan our time and study hard but if we have breaks in between exams we won’t take it as seriously, it messes up our flow.”
“It doesn’t really affect me because I only write two exams,” adds Sandhira Chetty, a third year BJourn student, “but I do understand why first and second years will be frustrated. However, I appreciate the extended holiday.”
De Klerk said she will reserve final comment on the matter until she sees the mock time table which should be available early next week.