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College bungles student results

Sello Morake

MASERU — A student nurse at the National Health Training College (NHTC) says she failed to proceed to second year after the institution bungled her final exam results last year.
Palesa Moholisa told the Court of Appeal on Tuesday that her name was wrongfully omitted when the college released results on June 30 last year.
Her lawyer, Advocate Khotso Ntho-Ntho, said Moholisa was initially told that she could not proceed to second year because she had not paid her fees in full.
But when the college later found out that she had paid it changed tack, arguing she could not proceed to second year because she had failed one of her subjects — chemistry for health sciences.
Ntho-Ntho told the court that Moholisa had been seriously prejudiced as she was informed late that she had failed the subject.
“The institution admitted that her results were withheld erroneously.
“This has affected her prejudicially as she could not exhaust other remedies and or act appropriately like applying for a remark,” Ntho-Ntho said.
The lawyer said this was an outright breach of duty “essentially the duty to ensure that student results are handled with utmost good care to avoid prejudice, irrationality and unfairness and such an act has caused her some damage, excitement, anxiety and great inconvenience”.
He added that his client was barred from attending classes when she was already in second year.
Moholisa then took her case to the High Court.
In August last year the High Court ruled in her favour and ordered that she be readmitted to the college and proceed to second year.
But the college approached the Court of Appeal seeking to overturn the High Court ruling.
Ntho-Ntho submitted in court this week that there was an ulterior motive on the part of the tutor not to release Moholisa’s results on time.
“Respondent’s (Moholisa) lecturer decided out of her own volition to assess the respondent only on two pieces of her course work.
“In the process she took two pieces of work where respondent had scored the lowest marks and deliberately left the course work where respondent had scored the best marks.
“She had written three pieces of work in chemistry, two being tests and one an assignment,” Ntho-Ntho said.
He said in the tests Moholisa had obtained 53 percent and 44 percent, respectively, while in the other assignment she obtained 64 percent.
It was therefore wrong and unfair for the lecturer to decide to pick only the tests where the student had done poorly.
“She deliberately decided not to pick the piece of work where the student had obtained 64 percent, which boosted her chances. The aim of the course is not to fail the student but to boost her chances of passing,” Ntho-Ntho said.
Ntho-Ntho requested the court to dismiss the appeal with cost.
The college’s lawyer, Advocate Limpho Mokobocho, said the institution did not mislead Moholisa into believing that she had passed the chemistry course.
Mokobocho said the “irregularity of placing Moholisa’s name among the names of students who owed tuition fees should not be held to have anything to do with her marks in chemistry”.
The case was before Justice Ion Gordon Farlam, JA Lionel Melunsky and JA ‘Maseshophe Hlajoane.
Judgment will be delivered on October 21.

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