By Loveth Ojogun
Students of Delta State Polytechnic, Ogwashi-Uku, Aniocha South Local Government Area of the State, have destabilized academic activities over alleged extortion, increased school fees, payment of COVID-19 fees which they said is no longer acceptable to them.
Trouble started on Wednesday 24th March 2021, when the angry students blocked the Rector of the Polytechnic, Prof. Stella Chiemeke, academic and non-academic staff from gaining access into the school.
A student (name withheld), who spoke on condition of anonymity disclosed that the management of the school introduced a new course to the already existing courses for final year students.
The final year student said, “The management of the school demanded that the students register the course with the sum of N7, 000 as the price for the textbook for the newly introduced course which stirred anger especially amongst final year students in the National Diploma and Higher National Diploma Programmes of the Polytechnic, hence they decided to protest to drive home their demands.
The student hinted that the newly introduced course would be taught once a week with an hour period, noting that final year students barely have one month for them under the current semester to exit the school.
The student alleged that the new textbook price was added to the school fees as the management in a clandestine move closed the school portal making it difficult for them to pay their school fees as the management have decided to add the money to their tuition fees.
“Aside from that, we were also asked to pay N4, 500 for Covid-19 fees. The school did not give us facemasks, hand sanitizers, no water to wash our hands”, wondering why the management should make them pay such a huge amount.
The student disclosed that their classes are jam-packed exposing them to higher risk of contracting the deadly Coronavirus disease as there is no preventive measures put on ground for students by th management.
It was learnt that the school is in an extortion spree as fees are collected irrationally from students ranging from signatories, submission and collection of JAMB reps without any human feeling from the management
For those in Mass Communication, it was learnt that the sum of N600.00 was paid as fees for practicals but the editing manager in charge of the school’s studio demanded for N100.00 each before he would edit their voicing practicals.
“We have paid for the practicals. Why should he asked us to pay before he will edit our voicing? And he said if we don’t pay he is not going to edit and that if he is hungry who will give him money. Every single thing, we pay for it”, the student alleged.
The student lamented that the school fees is high aside departmental dues, “it is too much on us. The normal school fees is even high.
The set that left paid over N30, 000 and now we are paying N45, 800 including the N7, 000, that is N52, 800. Excluding the dues.
“It is not fair, people are training themselves. Parents are finding it difficult to send their children to school. They are looting us, it is not fair on us”, the student retorted.
The student called for the reduction of the school fees, “this our school fees is telling on us. They should reduce the school fees for us. If we are paying for Covid-19 fees or dues according to them, they should give us stuff that are required. Not that we are paying and we are not seeing anything.
“They should provide us facemasks, hand sanitizers, wash hands and a conducive atmosphere and halls for learning and lectures not after paying N4, 500, there is nothing to show. For crying out loud, we have over 300 students in one department.
“You can imagine a hall for such students. Some students will stand during lectures. You can imagine that number multiplied by N4, 500 and they can’t provide these things for us, it is not fair and nobody is a kid”, the student roared.
Efforts to reach the management of the institution proved abortive.
Meanwhile, Commissioner for Higher Education, Prof. Patrick Muoboghare, said the issues have been resolved and calm has been restored to the Polytechnic Community.
“It has been resolved and calm has returned to the city of learning. No victor no vanquish,” he added.