NIJ students protest colleagues’ prevention from writting exam

Students of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos, protested against the decision of the management of the school to prevent two students from writing the ongoing examinations on Tuesday.

The protest, which started around 9am, did not end until 3pm, despite the downpour in the area.

The placard-carrying students also boycotted the examinations until their colleagues were pardoned.

It was gathered that the provost of the institute, Mrs. Elizabeth Ikem, had ordered that two students, Emmanuel Bassey and Okunnu Micheal, should be denied writing the examinations for allegedly damaging the school internet facility.

According to a member of staff, who spoke on condition of anonymity, the school management had asked the students to pay about N66,000 each but they refused.

The source said, “The management summoned the students and ordered them to pay, but they didn’t. One of them claimed that the Toyota car used to damage the solar compartment was insured that he needed an invoice from the company that would fix the damages.

“We gave him a photocopy, but he insisted that original duplicate had to be sent to the company. But the school can’t give that out. After a while, they began to dodge us and the provost instructed that they should not be allowed to write the examination. Before we know it, the students began to protest. I have not seen this happen since I have been working here.”

The students, however, claimed it was “illegal” for the management to deny their colleagues from partaking in the examination since they had paid their school fees.

They also accused the school authority of denying them full access to the internet facility, which was donated by the Federal Government.

One of them said, “Truly we protested against the decision to prevent our colleagues from writing the examination, but our concern is greater than that. The management treats us like kids, sends us out of the school by 6pm. Our school doesn’t have a website. Some of our lecturers also complained that they were not well paid.”

The leader of the institute’s Students Representative Council, Mattew Ojebola, noted that consultation and dialogue were made with the school management, but to no avail.

Ojebola said, “We just felt it was unfair to deny students access to writing exams because of damages. They have paid their school fees and that is the criterion for writing exam. The protest is peaceful and the management has agreed to let the affected students write their exams.

“I urge the management to see the students as stakeholders and not oppress them. We have signed an undertaking that the students will pay before September and asked each students to support with N100 to prevent further crisis.”

PUNCH

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