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Of The Withheld Exam Marks Matter...

It's a tremor, it's WWIII, it's the end of the world...nope...UMASA & MUT have gone on strike.

A semi-strike at that because all Uni and JC lecturers have been advised to keep on correcting the papers, just not to submit the examination marks, which generally won't have started to be handed in anyway, not unless one's exam was on 24th May and it was a credit with only 5 people max.

But I digress; what is truly appalling is the students' reaction. I admit I was one of the first who upon reading the article regarding this situation was far from amused if not rather irate at how convenient it must be to have started this during this time of year when temperatures are high and stress levels compete on whose is the highest. For once in their lives many students have got to their feet, no more cicci beqqi. This is something which is to affect our academic career and we must revolt to such an atrocious situation, I hear. Student organisations have all aired their view on this matter...and students hogging Facebook and Hi5 groups scream: "Daqshekk biss??? (that's all???)" Many wonder why they merely condemn the situation without proposing anything concrete to be done to correct this situation. So all this leads to ideas and many a fairytale of adventures of calling UMASA and MUT people, clogging their email inboxes with emails bursting with profanity, insults and demands for results. Someone so much as suggested not going to exams.

How reminiscent of a petulant child indeed. Many ask why students never get down to doing anything to stick up for their rights, how they're always just sitting there and letting the world go by night and day, day and night. And yet while I am a student myself (and believe myself not to be a superior being who knows what is best because I do not, nor claim to do so) I cannot help but feel that such ideas are nothing but illusory and a one in a million dream some live when they wake up to reality.

The truth is this: what will one achieve by calling UMASA and MUT? What will you achieve by clogging all these representatives' email inboxes? What will you moreso achieve if you decide not to sit for examinations in protest? It's a simple word really: NOTHING, or a guaranteed ticket to resit-land in the case of the latter (there is no way ALL the students would ever agree to such a course of action. Ever. Added to the fact that students don't have the right to strike). It should be all too clear for everyone to see why UMASA and MUT decided to institute such action now of all times because they knew all too well that this would leave the biggest impact now. So what should make one think that pressure from students will make them stop? The students whom they were prepared to ignore in the first place?

On the other hand, one could exert pressure on the main University administration and in turn the Government regarding this matter, but it all depends on how obstinate either side is.

So should one just sit there, cicci beqqi as always? Of course not; but exercising shiny ideas because they sound appealing and a sensation isn't really going to get anyone anywhere apart from seeming like a proper idiot. What one should primarily do is brush up on the topic - WHY is this happening? Speaking without knowing the right facts of the story is nothing short of going to an exam without knowing a thing and bullshitting your way through hoping against hope the lecturer won't notice. That should get us over the "Mhux sew!" (not fair!) stage - we know it's not fair, no use repeating.

Once that's done take a look at what KSU is doing - KSU is the university students' council for all those who may not know of its existence (it is amazing how numerous students don't even know where the KSU office is despite having attended university for more than a year). Taking a look at the KSU statute one reads:-

"Li jirrappreżenta lill-istudenti f’dak li jikkonċernahom, kemm fuq livell nazzjonali kif ukoll fuq livell internazzjonali;"
"Li jservi ta’ mezz uffiċjali ta’ komunikazzjoni bejn l-istudenti u l-awtoritajiet rilevanti;"
"Li jagħmel pressjoni fuq l-awtoritajiet konċernati sabiex jiżguraw li l-kwalità u l-livell ta’ l-edukazzjoni ogħla jkunu l-aħjar possibbli."

These are just 3 functions KSU must handle, all clearly relevant to the current situation. Indeed KSU President Roberta Avellino has said that they are working on it and are in contact with both parties to try and wrap this up as soon as possible. Rather than moan and groan and pity all us students who have to suffer the faith of the meany trade unions who are at the end of the day doing their job, why not help KSU? Why not get involved in the whole process in the first place? The lethargy on campus is truly amazing...but I digress.

Apart from that there is not much one can do, AT THIS POINT. No use sending death threats, letters with talcum powder claiming it's anthrax...tomorrow UMASA is holding a rally on campus to explain how negotiations are faring - why not go on campus if you're done with exams and hear what they have to say? No? Aaaah, then no use grumbling is there?

By all this I do not in any way wish to infer that I agree with the fact that our marks are being "trifled with" because I, and I'm sure all students are already dying to see how they fared. But I believe it is time to move from mere words to facts, facts of course which are within reasonable sense, sans illusions, and conducted when appropriate.


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