Monday, 15 December 2008

NWU: Student numbers not safe

The university made it easy for students to access their exams results more easily through an sms service. But how safe is this service for you students?

Students have a unique student number in order to access their exams results after having written their examination. It is fast and quick service for most students who know how use the service and it has been operating for some time now.

The service, however, seems to have negative impact on many students. Because of the way students access their results – any person is able to access results of whoever student he or she wants.

It has surfaced over the years that one student number is known by more than two students. If you give your student number to you colleague to check your results, it is likely that he or she will keep your student number for the future – especially to access your exam results.

If students thought they were the ones who knew their student number and the only one with access to your exam results – they must think again!

If you know that not only you alone know your student number, but there are other students who happen to have saved your student number in their cellphones or just know it by heart – they probably knew your exam results long before you did.

If you performed badly in our exam and told your friends you have passed and they happen to know you’re your student number – how many of them do you think know you are lying through your teeth by saying you having passed?

Has the thought of them having gotten your results long before you did and even getting your results before theirs never crossed you mind?

All students must think twice before giving out their student numbers irrespective of whether it’s your boyfriend or girlfriend and most importantly your friends.

It would be advisable for the university management to allow students to access their exam results using their identity number instead of student number.

And this would probaly help students whose results are known by other students before they even know how they have performed – especially if they have performed badly in their examination.

This article was written for publication on North West university, Mafikeng campus's The Album newspaper before it was cancelled last year, 2007.

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