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Anger trails Rivers varsity's 'no school fees, no exams policy'

Students of Rivers State University protest policy of “no fees, no examination” which excluded them from ongoing exams of the institution

Students of Rivers State University protest policy of "no fees, no examination" which excluded them from ongoing exams of the institution

Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt

Scores of students of the Rivers State University, Port Harcourt on Tuesday took to the streets of Port Harcourt to protest the new policy of “no fees, no examination” of the institution.

The implementation of the policy, commenced with Second Semester Examinations of the University on Monday October 24.

As a result, indebted students, especially those in final year were prevented from writing their examinations.

In addition to missing the final examinations, the affected students may also to lose extra year.

The school fees of the university was early this year increased from the initial amount.

The protesting students called on the government to reduce the fees and remove the “no school fees no exams policy” to enable them write their Examination.

The protesting students carried placards, denouncing the policy as wicked and inhuman with inscriptions like,”No Fees No Examinatiom is wicked and Evil”,”Times are hard for our parents'”,”Allow Us Pay Instalmentally”,”Shift the Examination for our sakes”,”Access to Education is right,” “Denying us is double punishment ‘Cos we’ll made to repeat, pay twice,” among others.

According to the memo by the institution, no fewer than 8,000 students of the Rivers State University (RSU) risked dropping out of school or incurring an extra year due to non-payment of fees and registration of courses.

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The school authorities had given the students a grace of one week from 17th to 24th October, 2022 to clear their outstanding debts or they will not be allowed to take their second semester examinations.

This decision was reached by the management of the school after a meeting of the Committee of Dean’s and Provosts of schools held 14th October, 2022.

Students of Rivers State University protest policy of "no fees, no examination" which excluded them from ongoing exams of the institution
Students of Rivers State University protest policy of “no fees, no examination” which excluded them from ongoing exams of the institution

Confirming the development, Registrar of the school, Dr. Sydney Eyindah said in a statement that the situation is disturbing considering its negative implication on the running cost of the school.

The statement reads in parts: “The meeting was informed that over 8,000 students across different years of studies have not paid their fees or registered their courses. This situation was very worrisome considering the enormous negative implication on the running of the affairs of the University.

“Consequently, the meeting after a review of the situation decided to postpone the second semester examination as to allow for a grace period of one week for students to pay their fees and register their courses. Therefore, the second semester examinations will now commence on 24th October, starting with final year students”.

“Only students who paid fees and registered their courses are to participate in the second semester examinations. To give effect to this, only students whose names appear in the examination attendance sheet shall be allowed into the examination hall”.

Eyindah reminded the students that by “the Academic Regulations, students who fail to pay fees and register for any sessions are deemed to have withdrawn for that year”.

The statement further directed deans, heads of departments, Provosts, directors and management to fully implement the resolution.

Neither the State Government or the University management have reacted to the peaceful protest by the students.

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