Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Nigeria Students’ Protests Rock UNILAG, Yabatech
By Nurudeen Oyewole, Lagos
Nigeria Daily Trust
Feb 10 2016 8:30PM

Hundreds of Students of University of Lagos (UNILAG) and Yaba College of Technology (Yabatech) in Lagos staged massive protests in their respective campuses on Wednesday which paralyzed all academic activities.

At UNILAG, undergraduate students of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) blocked the main entrance to the institution’s main campus in Akoka. The aggrieved students said they were protesting the new policy of the institution which placed restriction on the number of students who can transfer from Main Campus to the College of Medicine.

According to the students, they got the shock of their lives when they turned up at the College of Medicine for resumption of both academic and practical courses and they were turned back by the College management saying the new quota system will not be able to accommodate all of them.

“Despite meeting all stipulated conditions, paid required fees, all the management could tell us is that we are not welcome at the College of Medicine. How possible can Medicine and Surgery students be refused the rights to study in College of Medicine? It is sheer callousness,” Moji Adenekan, a protesting MMBS student said.

At Yabatech, students also blocked the main entrance to the institution when the news of the death of an HND II student, Dazan Charity Olubukola who was admitted to the school medical centre filtered in.

Dazan,  who was a student of Food and Technology department, was said to have been maltreated by medical staff. The poor treatment, according to the grieving students was responsible for Dazan’s death and subsequent protest that grounded all academic activities.

“Dazan died at about 4am today. She was expected to write her final examination in two weeks time. She was in the medical centre before she was improperly discharged by one of the doctors. This was against her will. After she returned to her hostel, she later developed complication (in the) midnight. She was rushed back to the medical centre where they failed to give her adequate attention until she gave up,” a female student of the deceased who will not want her name mentioned explained to Daily Trust.

 While reacting to the students protest in UNILAG, the University Deputy Registrar on Information, Oluwatoyin Adebule, in a statement, said the varsity management regretted the development that led the students to protest even as he said measures have been put in place to address their grievances.

“The Health Professions courses at the College of Medicine are regulated by their professional bodies, and these bodies regulate the numbers to be trained, to ensure the quality of the Health workforce, based on the availability of facilities and resources.  They all, therefore, have quotas that are applied at the 200 level.

“These quotas are now being enforced by the assignment of student index numbers when they cross over into the professional programmes in the College of Medicine. This year the professional bodies have insisted on the enforcement of the quota upon which accreditation is hinged and hence the College has had to conform.  What this means is that only students that are indexed will be registered by the professional bodies to practice after graduation.

“Senate at its meeting held on Wednesday, 27th January, 2016 had approved the implementation of the re-arrangement to conform to the professional bodies’ quota in order not to lose accreditation. This has regrettably meant that we have been only able to receive students into the College only up to the number the College of Medicine is allowed by the quota.

 “We recognize and regret that this has led to some students being unable to cross over into the College of Medicine or their course of choice,” the statement read in part.

 Efforts to get the response of management of Yabatech over the development proved abortive as the Public Relations Officer for the School could not be reached as at the time of filing this report.


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