By MILDRED KATONGO -
EXAMINATION papers and answer sheets belonging to Mulungushi University students who were writing their examinations at the Northern Technical College (NORTEC) centre in Ndola have ‘suspiciously’ been burnt, thereby disrupting further examination sessions.
More than 300 distance learners from Mulungushi University in all faculties are writing their examinations at NORTEC, which is the centre for students from Copperbelt and North-Western provinces.
This is the first time Mulungushi has decentrailsed writing examinations for its distance learners. Ndola chief fire officer Wellington Mulambo and NORTEC principal, Victor Mulenga confirmed that the strong room where the students’ examination papers and answer sheets were stored had been gutted.
Mr Mulambo said the fire, which started around 23:00 hours, burnt the examination papers and that the fire brigade responded in time and prevented the fire from spreading to the other rooms.
He said that after the security guard at the institution noticed that the strong room was on fire, he alerted the students who went and broke into the building, but that the examination papers had already been reduced to ashes. Mr Mulambo said the fire brigade was alerted two hours after the fire started and that they managed to get to the scene later and prevented the fire from spreading.
He said the cause of the fire was not yet established as they were still investigating the matter.
Mr Mulenga said, apparently, the university was using NORTEC as a centre for writing examinations and that the storeroom which was gutted was used to keep examination papers and answer sheets.
He said he could not disclose the extent of the damage as well as the cause of the fire as police officers were still investigating the matter.
Mulungushi University student representative Vienna Kapenda said the students were disappointed with what had happened because they had already written other courses from Monday.
Mr Kapenda said those that were supposed to write their examinations yesterday had been disturbed because the examination question papers had been burnt to ashes.