We still pay fees in Nasarawa varsity, physically challenged students cry out
Despite Governor Abdullahi Sule’s free education policy for the physically challenged students studying in tertiary institutions owned by the Nasarawa State government, the physically challenged students of the state’s university in Keffi have cried out that they are still paying school fees, unknown to the government.
The physically challenged students revealed this on Sunday in their separate submissions during a disability advocacy meeting organised by the Directorate of Strategic Communications and Press Affairs, Office of the Nasarawa State Governor, held at the senate chamber of the university in Keffi.
Leading submissions of the physically challenged students of the university, Sunday Musa complained that the disabled students of the institution still pay their school fees despite the fact that school fees of all disabled students studying in tertiary institutions owned by the state government is free.
Musa appealed to Governor Sule to, as a matter of urgency, intervene in order to facilitate a refund of the school fees paid unknowingly to the management of the Nasarawa State University, Keffi.
“One other major challenge staring us in the face is the lack of interpreters in general courses. It is sad that the interpretation in the general courses to some of the physically challenged students is being carried out by a few students.
“Also, blind students find it very difficult to go to lectures. We appeal to the governor to provide blind students with the required writing materials, while we also request for a commuter bus that will be strictly for the physically challenged students in order to facilitate our intra-campus mobility in the university,” he said.
In his submission, Ismail Abdul lamented that of the physically challenged in the state, only two percent of them get employment with the government.
Abdul continued that the situation of the physically challenged is very pathetic as most of them come from a poor background hence the need for the government to wipe their tears by making jobs available for them.
He said: “We, the physically challenged persons in the state, appreciate the government of Nasarawa State for declaring free education in the state.
“However, we wish to appeal to the state governor to keep data for all physically challenged students in order to know their various areas of specialization in order to provide employment or empowerment to them as the case may be.
“Preferably, a census could be carried out by the state government to ascertain the exact number of the unemployed physically challenged graduates for employment by setting up a committee to that effect to avoid job racketeering by government officials.”
The vice chancellor of the university, Professor Suleiman Mohammed, told the disability advocacy team that the institution had taken it as a policy that any constitution of the university must make provision for the disabled students.
The vice chancellor, who spoke through the deputy vice chancellor (academics), Professor Peter Osuorji, added: “In order to mitigate the hardship faced by the physically challenged of the institution, henceforth any storey building in the university must have special means of mobility for the disabled.”