A recent National University of Science and Technology Journalism Studies examination paper has resulted in a public outcry over language deemed to be too “explicit and sexually suggestive”.
An excerpt from the Fundamentals of Film and Video Production paper has gone viral with some people questioning the rationale behind the type of questioning in it.
The paper also raised questions on the extent of academic freedom with some arguing that it was too explicit for the students. Part of the question paper demanded that the students produce a storyboard.
Storyboards are graphics or diagrams depicting interpretation of the text or action contained in the text.
One of the scenes reads “Fred decides to investigate. He gets into Chantelle’s yard. He tip-toes and when he gets to Chantelle’s window he hears Chantelle mourning with pleasure…”
The language used in others is unsuitable for printing in a family newspaper like The Chronicle.
Veteran journalist Brezhnev Malaba described the lecturer behind the questions as an imbecile.
“The Nust lecturer who set this Journalism Exam paper is either imbecilic or suicidal, or both. He’s been watching too much porn, evidently,” tweeted Malaba.
Thulani Tshabangu tweeted: “Very much perverted, a sex pest. Such must not be allowed anywhere near the lecture room”.
Sheperd Mpofu tweeted: “The question was draw a storyboard. In a way draw people in action”.
Prinx Sunduzani defended the lecturer, saying he was doing his job.
“The lecturer has a right to academic freedom and can teach his students whatever he wants. Don’t insult someone for doing his job, “he tweeted.
A parent who visited The Chronicle newsroom on Wednesday armed with a copy of the controversial examination paper said she did not understand the rationale behind it.
“There must be a line between academic and social. Are we taking our children to be groomed to be pornographic addicts?” fumed the parent who identified herself as Mrs Sibanda.
Nust spokesperson Mr Felix Moyo said such scenes are very normal in film studies and there was nothing extraordinary about the script. “If you look at the things that people watch on their social media, the films that people watch and everything that personally as a communicologist of more than 20 years, I didn’t see anything pornographic about it. If there was any pornography it existed in the minds of the readers,” said Mr Moyo.
“We cannot teach our students less than what they should be taught and we cannot be afraid of examining them in a manner that will show that they understood the concept taught to them.”
Mr Moyo said pieces of art always draw different interpretations.
“Pieces of art are always at the judgment of the one appreciating them. Otherwise society is not complete if you are afraid of talking about certain common activities within society.
“If you create a scenario using words without using pornographic words it’s within the limit, yes close to the line but it’s still within the limit. That exam paper was sent to our external examiners who moderated it and accepted it,” said Mr Moyo.
Some Journalism and Media Studies students defended the examination saying “people should move with the times”.
“We watched that film it’s called Intentions. When we saw the scene in the paper there was nothing unusual about it. We saw people tweeting about it and we were shocked because it’s part of the learning process,” said one student who declined to be named.
Another student said the particular film had several reality discourses such as HIV and Aids, issues to do with sex and that particular scene was part of that.
“We are very cool about it. There is nothing extraordinary about it,” said the student. The Chronicle