Yvonne Ncube, Chronicle Reporter
STUDENTS at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) have expressed concern over the removal of results from their student portals following a malware assault on the Nust system (Navision) last week.
The virus is alleged to have deleted student results as well as payment history, deregistered students, and made the portal unavailable to other students.
According to sources close to the administration, experts have been unable to fix the online system.
Lecturers have been forced to revert to the conventional method of manually entering statistics, a development which they described as a strain.
“We understand that the university is working on resolving the situation at hand but for us who are supposed to be going for attachment, it is a big inconvenience considering that the institution has a set deadline for securing an internship.
Following the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, many companies have reduced staff working at the company premises and as such companies can only accommodate very few students on attachment. Most of us wanted to start looking for places last week when we finished writing examinations but we cannot do so because our portals are blank,” said a third-year student.
Another student said they hope that the payment history and results would not change after the restoration process.
“I pray that our results will not change when the system is restored. When I managed to open my portal two days ago the results of my supplemented courses were no longer there.
I hope that can be resolved because if not I will have to re-register and re-write the same course again next year because special exams for final students this year have been written. It is my hope that the payment history does not get interrupted,” said another student.
A lecturer who preferred to speak on condition of anonymity described the old system of entering marks through Microsoft excel as “torture.”
“The old system of entering results manually through Microsoft excel is torture, it is close to impossible. The old system was convenient at that time because a department had less than 30 students but now the number has increased to more than 100 students.
This is distressing, now we are asked to re-enter Part Four results since they were Part Ones in preparation for the graduation.
Each student was doing at least seven courses and there are more than a 100 students. Something has to be done, we are the University of Science and technology we cannot be suffering like this, technology cannot fail us,” said the lecturer.
Nust director of communication and marketing Mr Thabani Mpofu said the institution is working to rectify the system error.
“The University online system, Navision, experienced a system error that has affected students’ registration and portals.
The ICT department is working hard to rectify the system error. Mass registration for students and cleaning up exercise of their portals is underway. To ensure a successful graduation ceremony and smooth running of blended teaching and learning, the university has moved to the old system of processing students’ results,” said Mr Mpofu.
He assured students and stakeholders that the error will not affect the integrity of data.
“The university wishes to urge students to exercise patience as the ICT department works hard to resolve the problem. We will continue updating students through the university website,” said Mr Mpofu.— @SeehYvonne