By Joseph Erunke
THE Baze University Abuja, has denied 185 of its students opportunity to sit for their ongoing examinations over outstanding fees.
A lecturer in the institution had reportedly walked out the students who had been screened and allowed to write the Digital Entrepreneurship Gen 201 out of the institution’s multipurpose hall.
The action of the private school owned by Dr Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed, against the students, who are said to be beneficiaries of the Presidential Amnesty Programme scholarship of the federal government ,has incurred the anger of the students, their parents, family members and concerned members of the public .
The affected students, according to Vanguard source, were said to be in the middle of their ongoing examinations when the university authorities threw them out, because the scheme was yet to complete the payment of their school fees for the semester.
Some students who spoke on the surprised action of the school, said they had no knowledge of what was to befall them because the school never drew their attention to the development.
They equally said their parents and guardians were not informed of the action that would befall them over the outstanding fees.
The students, some of who had nowhere to go, having been sent out of the school premises were seen around some parts of Abuja, on Thursday.
Some said even as they hanged around, along their class corridor to write the examination, they were refused to even sign attendance for the general paper.
According to some of them, they doubted if the school management would allow them retake their lost papers.
Others lamented that the institution took the action after long period of preparation for the examination with prior notification to the parents.
Some of the students lamented that they were among the over 500 colleagues who were already seated at the multi purpose hall of the university to write the examination before a lecturer called out all the students on Amnesty Scholarship to leave the hall.
A distraught male students who feared that he might be victimised if his name was publicly mentioned,lamented how the school asked a messenger to tell them they were being prevented from the examination because their school fees had not been paid for the semester.
He said.“On Thursday 8th December 2022, all students offering the course titled DIGITAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP (GEN 201) amounting to over 500 students in number convened at the Baze University multipurpose hall to sit for the final exams for this semester.
“All pre exam practices were duly conducted; we were searched, allocated our seat numbers and schooled on the rules by which we were to be bound for the duration of the exam.
“We were seated and ready to start at any moment when a lecturer informed us that he will be calling out a list of names, and if your name or matriculation number is mentioned you are to walk to the end of the hall.
“Naturally we guessed that the aim of this was to filter out the students that had not met the attendance requirements to write the exam but this theory was struck out when we noticed a pattern; only amnesty students we’re being called out.
“We were then escorted out of the hall and taken to the registration block where we were informed through a “messenger” that we have henceforth been suspended by the school from writing the final exams due to the fact that we have not paid our school fees for this semester.
“This was all the information we were given as we were left to scatter about the school. Some of us made a choice to write the exam as it was being held online.
“We unsure whether it will be recorded as we did not get the opportunity to sign the mandatory physical attendance in the hall before we were escorted out.”
Meanwhile, the Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Major General Barry Ndiomu (retd) has waded into the .
It was gathered that no effort was made by the institution to put the Amnesty Office nor the parents of the students on notice before they were sent out of the examination hall.
Before the school took the action, it was gathered that the Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Office, Ndiomu, had written to the institution to notify it of a delay in the payment of the outstanding fees.
The letter dated November 8, 2022 and addressed to the Registrar of the institution, Dr Mani Ibrahim Ahmad was titled “Notification in the Delay In the Payment of Tuition Fees for PAP-Sponsored Students for the 2022/2023 Academic Session.”
The PAP Administrator explained in the letter that the delay in the payment of the 2022/2023 fees was due to financial commitments and budgetary constraints.
He therefore, assured m that the outstanding fees would be paid on or before the end of the first quarter of 2023.
The letter to Baze University authorities read thus:“NOTIFICATION OF DELAY IN THE PAYMENT OF TUITION FEES FOR PAP-SPONSORED STUDENTS FOR THE 2022/2023 ACADEMIC SESSION
1. Have been briefed about the corporate relationship and strategic partnership between Baze University and the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), in providing qualitative formal Education opportunities to beneficiaries.
2. If you recall, tuition fees for students deployed in February 2022 have been paid. However, due to the current financial commitments of my Office as well as budgetary constraints, I write to notify you that there will be a delay in the payment of tuition fees for the students who are in training at your University for the 2022/2023 academic session.
3. I can assure you that on or before the end of the first quarter of 2023, based on scheduled release of funds by the Federal Government, the PAP Office would have fully met its outstanding finanical responsibilities to your University.
4. Please accept the assurances of my esteemed regards.”