Saturday, June 20, 2015

University of Bamenda: IRIC Type Scandal Surfaces as Officials Snub Minister’s Decision

     Order HiTL Students To Quit Campus
·    Tears, Frustration, Strike Threats Loom

Letter from Fame Jacque Ndongo
 Strike threats hover at the University of Bamenda-UBa as some students of  the Higher Institute of Transport and Logistic (18) have been ordered by the Vice Chancellor Tafah Edukat Edward and Teguia Alexis, the Director of HiTL to pack their belongings and quit the campus or else face the unexpected. Although the Minister of Higher Education, Jacque Fame Ndongo had in a correspondence instructed UBa officials to admit all the 20 students on the waiting list, the call seems to fall on deaf ears. The story goes that the students (20 of them) were admitted on the waiting list (per the policy of UBa) and were asked to attend classes while waiting for the minister to visa the list authorizing their final admission and registrations. Since January 26, these students we were reliably informed have been attending classes. Last May 28, 2015, the Minister of Higher Education in response to letter No 15/1997/UBa/VC/D/ISTL of May 18, 2015 titled “Admission of students on the waiting list into HiTL” instructed the Vice-Chancellor to admit the students (20) for the academic year 2014/2015 given that with the LMD system, each semester is independent. In that same letter, Minister Jacque Fame Ndongo emphasized that the admission should be done with immediate effect and that he should be informed latter. Our Investigation revealed that the minsiter’s letter was recieved at UBa on June 3, 2015.
Matters came to a head when the (18) students were told to leave the campus or face the rage of the police. This was when their peers were writing end semester exams. Tears, anger and frustration took the centre stage when the students discovered that after having attended school now for the past three months (renting houses and incurring other expenditures) the director of HITL has now forbidden them from writing the end of semester exams. The question on every lip at UBa is whether there is some battle somewhere that the innocent students are being thrown into the street given that the habit in UBa is (and has been) to take all those on waiting list ( even for schools with automatic employment after graduation. Why then should HITL - with no automatic employment after graduation be an exception, many have questioned.
In a bit to find out the truth, this reporter rang the Vice Chancellor’s phone twice. In a hysterical effort to explain why he is recalcitrant to his boss’ instruction, Prof. Tafah Edukat Edward said that he told the students to go back home and that they would be given pride of place next year. He also added that with already 99 students, the Director of HiTL told him that there is no space to accommodate more 18 students given that it is a professional institution. He also emphasized that the students had not written the first semester exams and that it would be difficult for UBa to get places where they could carry out their internship given that interns are supposed to be in the field by July this year. However, when this reporter contacted him on phone the second time, Prof. Edukat said he would find a solution was short to say which and how soon.  “When it will be done, I will inform the Minister” he concluded. When this reporter rang the Director of HiTL, Dr. Teguia Alexis to get his own side of the story, he simply responded that he was attending a ceremony and could only be available on Monday.
Speaking to this reporter in tears, frustration and anguish (some of the students) names withheld lamented that the arguments by the VC were not tenable at all. They said that the plan to chase them out of the campus is seemingly a well calculated act to frustrate the minister’s decision. Some of them even threatened hunger strike and that if the worse comes, they would prefer to commit suicide on the VC’s doorstep than to live and see their future being trampled into the doldrums after their parents have sacrificed much for them. One of the students said that UBa officials even threatened that if any of them is spotted in the campus, they will be arrested and detained. Another remarked that one teacher told them that the school is even underutilized. “I feel very disgust and ready to starve myself to death than to be thrown into the street. This is the beginning of frustration”…
(To be Continued)

When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

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