Students of the Federal University of Otuoke in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State have taken to the streets to protest against the management of the institution for compelling final year students who failed to register their courses to repeat an extra academic year.
According to the protesting students, when the portal for registration of courses was open, many students tried to register for their courses but didn’t succeed because the university’s website could not withstand the traffic.
Explaining further, they said that in spite of the problem with the website, the university’s management went on to close the course registration portal on it announced as deadline, forcing final year students who didn’t register their courses to defer their admissions without a second chance.
It was learnt that when the Student Union Government (SUG) spoke to the Dean of Students Affairs, believing he would be in the best position to help them address the matter, he rather said “if you are depressed and you want to commit suicide, then go and commit suicide.”
According to a student who spoke on the condition of anonymity, “most of us have already registered but we didn’t print it out so there was a malfunction with the school site and most of the registered courses got deregistered and we didn’t know that happened.
“The FUO ICT claim they were upgrading their system and that was what caused the glitch that affected the course registration. Now our concern is why did they choose that period to upgrade their systems and then they allowed the process to affect academic activities.
“Even when the Vice-Chancellor has approved manual registration of courses due to these setbacks, the ICT refused to help students, they claimed the Vice-Chancellor never notified them.
“After paying house rent, feeding and upkeep, some even struggled to pay their school fees, and now they want us to defer the admission for irregularities that arose from the ICT?
“We are lending our voices to this issue and appealing with the school management to see to a positive resolution of this matter and not just deferment of the academic year.
“We are also calling on the SUG government to ensure that students are not disenfranchised. Fight for our rights through all means available in the Aluta way.”
Meanwhile, several attempts to get a reaction from the management of the university proved abortive as the Public Relations Officer of the institution, Mercy Ekot, didn’t take calls at the time of filing this.
However, a source in the university hinted to Tribune Online that management is working round the clock to resolve the issue that “the past 24hours has been trendy, we appreciate everyone’s effort to bring the plight of the students to the limelight, We want to reassure the students’ community of our undivided support and solidarity.
We want to use this medium to appreciate the school management, particularly the Vice-Chancellor Prof. Teddy Charles Adias for his ever listening ears. Members of the Student Union remain grateful for the following, extending the deadline for school fees and course registration from 24th September to 1st October. Further Extension of the same Portal from October 1 to October 8.
“It is pertinent to note that these were not achieved through a protest, neither was it achieved through demonstration, rather it was achieved as a result of the cordial relationship the Students Community has built with the relevant Authorities.
“It is undeniable that the existing harmonious relationship between the relevant Authorities and the Union has resulted in reduced fees payment Issues. This has in turn made more persons to meet up within the required period.
“The issue of Course Registrations raised can be categorized into four (4), which includes, persons who registered but upon printing out, they had 2 or 3 courses removed from the total courses registered, some registered but have seen only first semester or second semester while the other courses are blank.
“Others registered, with all courses showing, on the printouts but later discovered none reflected after logging in a second time, also persons that didn’t register at all on the basis of a disturbing site.
“In any of the aforementioned cases, provided a student has evidence of his or her attempt to register these courses, kindly print it out, write out the courses taken out on either of the semesters, have both semesters printed and stapled together and have it submitted to either of these persons.”
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