SA student news wrap 14/09/18

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News from around the country.

UCT addresses religious holy days clashing with exams but no ruling as yet

On Wednesday, UCT officials partook in discussions on dealing with demands for allowing students of different faiths time off on religious holidays during tests or exams. The present UCT religious policy does not accommodate religious minorities and religions which may not follow a solar calendar. People of the Hindu, Islamic, and Jewish faith are often not accommodated when holy days clash with exams.

A petition was started after a student was snubbed by a lecturer when she enquired about muslim students being allowed a few minutes to break their fast during an exam earlier this year. Tanya Magaisa, one of the students behind the campaign, said: “The university has a constitutional obligation to ensure its students are afforded the same kind of treatment and accommodation. Fundamentally, the issue is about fairness and the university upholding its mandate for inclusivity and transformation.”

UCT spokesperson Elijah Moholola said a meeting was scheduled for late Wednesday to discuss the religious holidays matter. He could not estimate the time the meeting would end or what the university’s response would be. – Read the article on the IOL site

On campus racism at CPUT (video)

A street talk video published this month which sees student teachers currently studying at CPUT addressing racism on campus. Issues raised included some lecturers speaking only Afrikaans and only recognising white or coloured kids, coloured students constantly insulting fellow black students and white learners getting preferential treatment and never being assigned to schools in the townships.

– See the original article on the Daily Maverick site

The Sasol Solar Challenge kicks off on September 22

The Sasol Solar Challenge is a biennial competition where teams design and build solar-powered vehicles and drive them across South Africa. This year teams are expected to travel distances between 2500 and 5000 km. 2016 Sasol Solar Challenge winners, Delft University from the Netherlands, will return to defend their title. Multiple record holders Tokai University from Japan will also compete along with teams from Switzerland, USA, Hungary, Poland, Turkey and China.

The South African contingent will be led by local champions, North West University. Joining them are Tshwane University of Technology, University of Johannesburg, Vaal University of Technology, Central University of Technology, the University of Cape Town. Teams from Stellenbosch and Pretoria are yet to be confirmed.

Cars will compete in four classes: Challenger Class (Cars are newly built for maximum energy efficiency and endurance.) Adventure Class (Cars have participated in previous editions of the race and may include three-wheelers). Cruiser Class (Cars designed for everyday use and include 4 seats and a storage compartment) and Sustainability Fleet (Cars from the normal automotive industry, including hybrids, fuel-cell cars and full battery electric vehicles) –  Visit the Solar Challenge site for more information.