ACADEMIC ASSISTANCE THROUGH REP
By: Ndumiso Nxumalo
The Resident Educational Programme (REP), is a tutorial programme that is running within the Durban University of Technology’s residences for undergraduate students across all six faculties of the university.
REP is coordinated by the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT), in collaboration with the Department of Student Housing and Residence Life. The programme was first introduced back in 2011, and has been running ever since.
Ntokozo Zulu, who is the REP Coordinator said that the programme has been growing for the past years.
“The outcome of the programme is amazing. When we first came up with the idea, we wanted to assist students living in Res, especially first years who are not familiar with the university life,” said Zulu.
“The main aim of the REP is to provide academic and psycho-social support development to students in residences. We are nurturing and supporting them through the transition phase of tertiary education, by improving learning,” added Zulu.
The Durban REP Officer, Cebokazi Xozwa believes that the programme is providing great support to students in residences, as it is a difficult period of transition from high school to tertiary education.
“Our objectives include to provide specific knowledge and understanding. Literacy level, reading and comprehension skills of students in res. The REP tutorials are not only design to help students pass test and examinations but also to educate them in the broadest sense of the world,” said Xozwa.
A first year Cost and Management student, Luyanda Nkula residing at Stratford Residence, said that the programme is very helpful on her in terms of adapting to the varsity life.
“I joined the programme because I saw the need to it as a first year student. I needed to gain more knowledge and learn from those who have been around more than I have,” said Nkula.
The tutorials are conducted in residences from 18h00-20h00 every day. Usurf Zenda, who is one of the tutors said that they deal mainly with subjects that are classified as ‘high impact’ because of their high failure rates.
“In our tutors we focus more on those subject that are considered difficult, and we take student step by step making sure that they understand. We want them to be able to do well in all the subject,” said Zenda.
Even though the programme has branched out to many residences, City Resident’s student across City Campus, said that they have not receiveed the tutorials.
Photography student, Sbonelo Mthethwa residing at City Res said, “I think as Art and Design Faculty student, we are neglected maybe because most people believe that our faculty is the easiest,” said Mthethwa.
In order for students to be part of the programme, they must contact their Residence advisors, or the Housing Department to state that they want tutorials in their residence.