By Jonathan Ugbal
The Management of the Cross River University of Technology has announced the resumption of academic activities barely 24 hours after a protest by some students had led to the shutdown of the institution, CrossRiverWatch authoritatively reports.
Students had on Monday protested management’s decision to prevent those owing more than a semester school fees from writing examinations with unconfirmed information suggesting that some equipment was vandalized in the process which led to the state government shutting down the institution.
The Commissioner for Education, Godwin Ettah later told Ukay Ogar on the Breakfast show on Hit 95.5 FM Tuesday morning that the institution had been shut down on the directives of the Governor, Senator Ben Ayade who is the visitor of the institution.
But, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Anthony Owan-Enoh told CrossRiverWatch on phone that the management has resolved to reopen the Varsity with effect from Tuesday with examinations scheduled to begin June 5, 2017.
“As they have resumed today (Tuesday) from tomorrow until the third (3) of June, they will be having revision because they have been out for about four (4) weeks without touching their books and then they will continue paying their fees and they will start the process of the SUG elections and those who have paid fees, they can pick intent form and they are eligible to vote and be voted for.
“This will continue till June 3rd and of course June 4th is Sunday and exams will start on June 5th. By that time, we have extended the time for them to pay their fees we are still insisting like the commissioner said in the morning, (there is) no school anywhere in the world that is free.
“The management of the institution and with the support of Government, are insisting that the debt of student of about NGN1.3 billion is scandalous and therefore students are to be made to understand the fact that they are to pay school fees,” Owan-Enoh said and lamented the fact that some students deliberately refused to pay fees despite been provided with the money with those who protested angrily that they were exposed after the institution published their names and fees owed.
“You see why they are annoyed is that we have exposed them to the public, to their sponsors, their parents and their guardians. Some have been given this money to pay but they mis-applied the money. In the past when they say that they want to demonstrate, the management will always concede but I have refused to do that,” he said.
He however referred this reporter to the Registrar of the Varsity to get the two circulars issued by the institution on the issues.
CrossRiverWatch had reported the institution gave students a near month long break to pay fees after publishing the names of over 11,000 students owing the institution about NGN1.3Billion in school fees.
The break ended on May 12 with a source at the Bursary saying less than half of the students paid their fees within that time.
Upon resumption, Management issued circular, warning students who were planning to protest their suspension by the Senate of the University for owing fees which will make them ineligible to write examinations, to desist from such.
But, students paid no heed to this and protested Monday which led to a shutdown in academic activities with some lecturers allegedly chased away from lecture rooms.
A source however told this reporter that, the portal has seen increased activity with some students hurrying to pay their fees having learnt the management will not backtrack in its decision of “no fees no exams.”
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