14th March, 2012
Penultimate week, students of the School of Nursing and Midwifery in Akure, Ondo State, staged a peaceful demonstration to protest what they described as the need for better welfare in the institution’s hostels.
The health students last Wednesday locked themselves up in their hostels and refused to attend classes and other academic activities on the campus.
The students also denied the principal of the institution, Mrs. Adebimpe Fatile, and some other school staff access to the hostels.
The aggrieved students also alleged that the school fees of the institution was recently increased from N24,000 to N123,000, and though they have met with the school management and state government on several occasions to make their grievances known, but nothing had been done to improve the situation.
They said the school authority has been complaining of lack of funds to improve the facilities in the hostel.
“We had met with the management over this issue and they kept telling us is that there is no money. The state government came here and promised to build us a befitting hostel. Government made this promise two years ago, but it not been fulfilled either,” a student who craved anonymity said.
Another student submitted that, “the situation of things in our school is not encouraging. There is nothing to write home about on the issue of welfare of the students. Should we start from the hostels? Rooms and space available in the hostels are not enough and conducive for the students. We have about 50 students in the male hostels with just two ceiling fans. At times, 10 students are cramped into a room, which makes the rooms congested. The minimum number of students that stay in a room is usually seven.”
The student further alleged that some of the students sleep on desks in the classrooms over the night and come into the hostel to take their bath and get dressed for classes in the morning.
“About three years ago, Governor Mimiko came here and promised that he would build another hostel for us. We told him to renovate the one on ground but insisted he would prefer to build a new hostel instead of wasting money on the existing one due to the condition of the hostel. They are telling us there is no money, though the government is building mega schools for the primary and secondary school pupils with billions of naira,” an angry student lamented.
On the issue of electricity, a student complained: “Our generator is either not functioning or has no fuel. We paid the electricity bills several times but they still won’t bring the light. Most of the time, the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, staff disconnect us for two months, claiming that the institution is owing them. At times, the Students Union Government, SUG, body will be the ones to pay the bills, just for us to have electricity”.
Campus Square gathered that the students are also aggrieved because their borehole water system is not functioning, so they (students) drink from the well.
One of the female students, who refused to disclose her name for obvious reasons, said the situation in the school is disgusting, especially for them as medical students who should teach others about the importance of a healthy and hygienic environment. “If we are educating others about good health and we are not living by example, it is of no value.”
The students said the library of the institution is alleged filled with outdated books and they lack access to the Internet.
The principal of the institution, Mrs. Adebimpe Fatile, declined to comment on the allegations.