At Kogi Varsity, Students Contribute Money to Pay Teachers

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The dismissed Kogi State University (KSU) teachers have withheld graduating students’ results and vowed not to release them, except the school withdraws their “sack letters” and pays their arrears. To pacify the aggrieved teachers, some of the students are secretly contributing N3,000 each to facilitate the release of their results. MOHAMMED YABAGI reports.

The fate of the graduating students of the Kogi State University (KSU) in Anyigba is hanging in the balance – no thanks to a battle between the management and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). The school has just resumed another session, but the graduating students’ results from all faculties have not been computed.

This development is in response to the proscription of ASUU by the government, and last month’s mass dismissal of members of the academic staff by the school authorities.

At the time of filing this report, graduating students are not sure of their fate, weeks after the school rounded off the 2016/2017 calendar. The sacked lecturers have vowed not to release their results until their demands were met by the school. The lecturers want their salary arrears paid and they also want the school to reverse their dismissal.

The lecturers were sacked over their refusal to resume work after a six-month internal strike. No fewer than 150 members of the academic staff were affected in the mass dismissal, which followed the government’s proscription of ASUU in the school.

Some of the graduating students, who spoke to CAMPUSLIFE, are worried about their fate, because they have not had access to the results of their final examinations. The students complained that some of them may end up having two extra sessions in the school if they failed compulsory courses in the withheld results.

CAMPSULIFE gathered that some of them who had carryover courses in the first semester of the 2016/2017 session could not register in the current session because they did not know if they passed all the compulsory courses in the second semester.

Gideon Amedu, a graduating student of the Department of Philosophy, said his department had not released 300-Level and final year results, expressing fear that many of his colleagues may likely come back after the session to register for 300-Level courses. He said there was no hope any student from his department would be mobilised for the National Youth Service this year, because the department had not released any result in the last two years.

He said: “It is sad that my department has not released any results since 2015. Like me, many students in my set are experiencing the same fate. We have not seen our results for both 300- and 400-Levels. Some of us in my department and others from other departments are eager to know our fate as to whether we can still go for National Youth Service this year or not.

“If the results had been released, most of us would know whether there is a need to remedy any compulsory course. But for now, we don’t know if we are in good standing or not. As I speak to you, none of the graduating students really knows what to do. This is why we are pleading with our lecturers to consider our plight and release the results to the school.”

Another graduating student, Moses Eleojo, decried the situation, noting that KSU “is one institution that seems to thrive on crisis and unconventional method of doing things”.

He wondered why students could not access their results a year after they sat for examination, saying the credibility of the results could be affected by the prolonged withholding. He blamed the situation on what he called “the lackadaisical attitude” of the management.

He said: “In other institutions, lecturers are expected to submit students’ results no later than three weeks after the conclusion of examination. But in KSU, lecturers can sit on results for as long as they want and this situation is putting students under unnecessary pressure, and giving lecturers opportunities to manipulate results.”

Findings by CAMPUSLIFE revealed that some lecturers, who resigned from the institution in the wake of the recent ASUU-government faceoff, also went away with students’ results and marking sheets to be used to grade final year students’ research projects.

Some graduating students, who are not ready to take chances, have chosen to take their destinies in their hands, CAMPUSLIFE reliably gathered. It was learnt that some frustrated students had started to contribute money to pay the sacked lecturers’ salaries to facilitate the release of the withheld results.

A source told CAMPUSLIFE that graduating students from a department in the Faculty of Social Sciences have started to contribute N3,000 each to pay off the salaries being owed a lecturer, who now teaches in another university.

Reacting, one of the disengaged lecturers at the Department of Mass Communication, who did not want his name in print, vowed not to release students’ results in his possession if his arrears were not paid by the school. Before the matter blew open, he said the management made several entreaties to the affected lecturers, noting that many of them rejected the school’s plea because of the way they were treated by the school and the government.

The Mass Communication lecturer said the decision to hold on to the results was taken because the affected academic staff did not get assurance on whether salaries owed would be paid.

He said: “The only thing that can make me release results in my possession is for the school to pay my arrears and withdraw the illegal sack letter issued. This is the only condition to settle the matter. There were promises made by the management in the past, they ended in disappointments. I will release the students’ results only if I am paid and recalled.”

Another affected lecturer, Mr. Ben Ibe Onoja, said the graduating students’ results were not unjustly being withheld. “The fact is that, we are still on strike,” Onoja said.

He said it would be unprofessional for any lecturer to refuse to submit students’ results at the end of the session. He added that the school management should know how to recover any result being unjustly withheld by any lecturer.

He said: “Do you expect people who are on strike to carry out any official engagement? Marking of scripts and submission of results to management is an official function, which anyone on industrial action should not engage in.”

A source in the Public Relations Department, who pleaded not to be named, said the management was working round the clock to ensure the matter was resolved on time, so that the students could be mobilised for National Youth Service.

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