Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin-Kebbi
The Kebbi State government has embarked on mission to rescue over 7,000 students allegedly restricted from sitting for semester examinations at the Waziri Umaru Federal Polytechnic, Birnin-Kebbi.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tertiary Education, Dr Isa Mohammad Sama, who confirmed this on Tuesday while addressing newsmen in his office, noted that all previous efforts made to submit letters, allowing both returning and fresh students who are under state scholarship to write their examinations were rebuffed by the institution’s management.
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But the Rector of the Polytechnic, Arch. Sani Aliyu, in his reaction insisted that the school management had issued several payment deadline notices to students, the most recent having expired on June 7. He noted that some students who had still not paid when the examinations commenced, were issued clearances and allowed to sit for their papers.
Clarifying the government’s efforts, Dr Sama said: “We have tried to write the management of the polytechnic, but every time my staff goes there, they refused to accept our letters.
“The number of students affected is over 7,000 both returning and freshers. If we can write letters to institutions outside the state and they accept our letters, it is unfair for the management of Waziri Umaru to reject our letters.”
It has been the tradition that whenever students under state scholarship have not paid their school fees, the state would write letters of undertaking to the affected institution as sureties for the students, the Permanent Secretary said.
Dr Sama added that the staff of the ministry have gone back to the institution to discuss with their management.
However, the polytechnic’s rector, who denied receiving any letter or meeting with the state government, explained that the institution does not consider those who have not paid their school fees as genuine students.
“We issued notice that the deadline will be May 20th, 2019, after which our matriculation will hold. And when there was agitation by the student, and we shifted the deadline to 7th June 2019, while the examinations start on June 13. Therefore, it is our belief that those who have not paid have sought admission elsewhere or suspended their admission.”