Academic activities were paralyzed at the Cross River University of Technology (CRUTECH) on Monday following a protest staged by some students of the institution over “no fees, no-examination policy.”
DAILY POST gathered that the protesters, mostly year two students, who were about to write their first semester examinations but did not pay their school fees staged the protest when they were asked to show evidence of fee payments before they could be allowed into exam halls.
Aggrieved by this, the students disrupted the exams, took to their heels chanting war songs and moving round the campus.
“The School authority asked the students to show their fee receipt, instead of them complying; those who did not pay but wanted to write the exams started chanting war songs.
“They moved round the campus and lucked the gates of the institution stopping vehicles, other students, lecturers and guests from going in or coming out,” the source said.
Findings by DAILY POST revealed that for over three hours, the educational and social activities were brought to a stand still and the situation in the university was tensed.
Reacting to the development, the Acting Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof. (Mrs.) Akon M. Joshua, in a statement said, “One of the major purposes of establishing CRUTECH is to educate and train manpower for Cross River State primarily and the Nigeria nation and beyond.
“To fulfil the mandate given to CRUTECH, the institution charges stipulated and Government approved school fees to augment the monthly subvention from the Cross River State Government to run the system.
“The main source of internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in CRUTECH is school fees. “It is school fees that fund the provisions of electricity, water, contract security, sanitation, laboratory materials for student’s practical, repairs and maintenance of buildings and vehicles, etc. Management is however exploiting alternative and additional means of funding the University but we have not reached there yet.
“Management has observed that only fresh students (year one) and very few continuing students pay school fees in CRUTECH. The student population in CRUTECH as at first semester, 2018/2019 Academic year session is a little above 18,000(Eighteen Thousand). Out of this number, a little above 6,000 (six thousand) are year one students the rest are continuing students.
“As at last week, only little above 7,000 (Seven Thousand) students including the 6,000 (six thousand) year one students have paid fees. This statistics mean that less than 2,000 (two thousand) continuing students have paid their mandatory first semester 2018/2019 school fees as the new management policy stipulates.
“This translates to the fact that over 10,000 (ten thousand) students have refused to pay school fees for first semester, 2018/2019 academic session. Based on the above analysis of poor response from the students on fee compliance, management was magnanimous to the students and gave a two weeks semester’s break to allow the students go home and source their first semester 2018/2019 school fees
“This decision I understand was predicated on a stakeholders’ consensus and included Students Union Government, which represents students. The continuing students returned from their semester break and most of them failed to pay the prescribed fees for first semester 2018/2019 session.
“In all educational institutions across Nigeria and the whole world academic activities including examinations, are always offered to only those who pay school fees/charges and are registered properly.
“In most other institutions, the world over, full session payment or some percentages is demanded from students, but in CRUTECH, continuing students, 50% of session fee (Ist First semester and followed by second semester) is demanded. This arrangement is fair and considerate considering the economic peculiarities of our state and country. Still, students stubbornly refuse to pay school fees.”
The Institution said the current inclination by students to refuse payment of fees is unsustainable and if not quickly reversed may result in the degeneration of CRUTECH and appealed to all stakeholders in the CRUTECH projects :students, parents, sponsors and the general public to support our “No fees no examination” policy which commenced with the ongoing first semester 2018/2019 examinations.
“All students are fully aware of this policy. The examinations started on Monday 27th May, 2019 with year one students who have paid fees. The continuing students will start their first semester examinations, specially for year 2 and 3 on Monday, June 3rd 2019 to be followed by other levels.
“We therefore appeal to them to pay their semester fees, otherwise stay away from campus during the days of examinations. The University Management will appreciate students, parent, and sponsors who pay up the first semester 2018/2019 school fees for continuing students from year 2 to 7.
“Your support to this new policy of ‘No fees, no examination’ will lighten the smooth administration by the University Management and nurture a stable environment for teaching and research,” the institution stated.