Protest: AAUA Reopen School, Announce 20,000 Naira Reparation Fee
The management of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko has announced Sunday 30th of January as the resumption date for the continuation of the first semester of the 2020/2021 academic session, after a protest that rocked the institution.
This was contained in a circular released by the school management and signed by the Registrar, Olugbenga Arajulu as obtained by THE TRUMPET.
The circular read, “The Senate, at its Special meeting held on Wednesday, 12th January, 2022, considered the Preliminary Report of the Committee on Recent Students’ Violent Protest in the University, and approved that the university be reopened for academic activities on Sunday, 30th January, 2022 while the suspended 1st Semester examination for the 2020/2021 Academic Session should commence on Monday, 31st January 2022.”
However, the circular added that the Senate subsequently approved some conditions to be met by students before resumption for the first semester examinations.
According to the circular, all students must pay a reparation fee of twenty thousand Naira (N20,000.00) only before resumption which is to be paid either by cash or bank transfer, using banks’ applications.
More so, the circular directed students who are still owning the institution to pay up as well as register up to date of the 1st Semester 2020/2021 Academic Session
“Students must swear an oath of good behaviour before a Commissioner of Oath. Please, visit the University website for the template to be used,” it added.
Furthermore, all students are directed to submit a letter of good conduct duly signed by their Parent/Guardian and must show evidence before they could be admitted to the campus.
According to the circular, “Any student who is unable to pay his/her school fees should request for Leave of Absence (LOA).”
However, the Senate similarly approved the following procedure to conduct the suspended 1st Semester examination for the 2020/2021 Academic Session:
From January 30th to 12th of February, 2022, examinations for 100 and 200 level students will commence with Departmental and Faculty courses followed by University-wide courses (GST and ENT).
In the same vein, 300, 400, and 500 level students examinations will kick off from February 13th – 26th February, 2022. However, students in higher levels with a spill in lower-level courses would be allowed to write the examinations for the lower-level courses after fulfilling the conditions.
Furthermore, the Senate also approved that clearance will be done online after students fulfilled the required conditions, adding that only students writing examinations shall be allowed into the campus with their clearance forms and other means of identification everywhere on campus.
How It Started With ‘No School Fees, No Examinations Policy’
On the 22nd of November, 2021, students of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Ondo state in their thousands trooped out en masse to protest against the management’s policy of ‘no school fees, no examinations’ as the first semester examinations kicked off with GST.
The angry students broke the main gate of the institution, locked down since January 24th, 2021 due to a bloody accident that claimed lives of students and indigenes and blocked the highway leading to Kogi, Abuja, and other parts of Ondo state.
During the protest, some of the students were seen carrying placards, burning tyres, holding sticks, throwing stones, sachet waters, and disruption of vehicles, which lasted for over 6 hours before moving to the school senate building where properties were vandalised.
Before moving their agitation to the senate building which houses the registrar, Vice-Chancellor, Public relation officers and other administrative officers, the angry students earlier turned off the generator that powered the CBT centre while the GST examinations (communication in Arabic, GST123B and communication in French, GST123A) were ongoing. The angry students were said to have been bitter that some 100 level students who have not paid tuition fees were denied from partaking in the ongoing examination.
More so, it was gathered that the peaceful protest started from the Olusegun Obasanjo Multipurpose hall (OBJ), where students queued for collection of tallies before skyrocketing to the destruction of properties at the school premises. Some of the destroyed properties were car tyres, louvers, glass tables, mirrors, flowers, frames and other valuable items.
However, during the peaceful protest at the school sports complex, it vapourised the atmosphere of insecurity in the university environs necessitating robbery and attacks on students by indigenes.
The protest which started around 3:00 PM and lasted for over 6 hours was to demand justice for the wounded and robbed students by some indigenes.
The students ended at the palace of Akungba King calling for a stop in threats and harassment of students by ‘Okada Riders’ who are indigenes of the community.
Some students who spoke at the palace of Alale of Akungba land, His royal majesty, Oba Isaac Sunday Adeyeye expressed displeasure asking for a solution to the problems before they escalated.
Speaking during the protest, the Dean of students affairs, Professor Segun Akanbi appealed to the students, noting that they had been in the struggle and anything that happened to students affected the vice-chancellor and the school authority, citing one of the students who was involved in an accident and was operating in Owo as an example.
“When we heard about the accident, 100,000 naira was sent for treatment by the school management, and I want you to calm down and allow peace to reign.”
Reacting, the Alale of Akungba Akoko, His Royal Majesty, Oba Isaac Sunday Adeyeye, said steps had been taken to fish out the perpetrators. He noted that the process is yielding positive results.
“Give me one week to fish out the indigenes that carried out the evil, I will report through your dean of students affairs and if I do not do anything tangible within a week, you can kick off your protest again”, he added.
Students who have not paid can write the exam
Before the protest, the management was said to have released a circular to the university environment that all students can sit for the examination.
A copy of the circular signed by the registrar, Olugbenga Arajulu dated November 22nd, 2021 was obtained by THE TRUMPET and it read: “The management received and considered the passionate place of the students union leadership on the above subject matter. Management has directed that all students be allowed to sit for the first-semester examination for the 2020/2021 academic session.”
The circular added that 100 level students who are yet to complete the processes of getting their matriculation number can use their jamb registration number to sit for the examination.
It further added that all students are enjoined to complete their registration before the conclusion of the examination.
Unfortunately, the angry students debunked the circular stating it was fake and a ploy to lure them from protesting and agitating for their rights. Some added that the circular was released at the wrong time when some students have been restricted from sitting for the ongoing GST examination.
Gst Examinations Postponed
In the course of the protest, the management announced the postponement of the first semester GST examinations indefinitely.
The Management made this known after reviewing the situation as students protested against the “No School Fee, No Examination policy.”
The circular read in part: “The management has reviewed the situation on campus concerning the disturbing activities of some students, and has decided that the GST examinations be postponed indefinitely.
This is, therefore, to inform all staff and students that GST examinations are hereby postponed indefinitely. A new date will be announced later.”
Decision before November 22, 2021
The management of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, has earlier reiterated its stance since the beginning of the 2020/2021 academic session in stopping unregistered students from partaking in her first semester examinations for the session.
This was made known in a circular obtained by THE TRUMPET released to the university community, dated 30th September 2021, with ref no: AD/REG/SEN/SDE/VOL.1/04, signed by the Deputy Registrar Academy, O. Oluwarinde.
The circular read: “Arising from the consideration of the examination misconduct report to the senate at its 172nd regular meeting held on Wednesday, 29th September 2021, it noted that vital information such as correct names, valid matriculation and jamb registration numbers of some alleged students were not stated in the report. Senate expressed dismay over this. The senate discussed the matter at length and directed as follows.
Read also: IYC demands action on Niger Delta wetland, hails Amina’s reappointment
The Acting Director of ICT should endeavour to download the list of all students duly registered every semester, with effect from the first semester, 2021 academic session and forward the same to all the departments three(3) weeks before the commencement of the semester examinations.”
However, the circular stated that students who have not paid the first semester fees should be denied from partaking in the mid-semester test.
“Every invigilator should seek goodwill in managing the examination hall, using all available devices while on supervision.”
Furthermore, the circular directed the Head of Departments(HODs) and Deans of faculties to organise training on the good conduct of examinations to all their newly recruited academic staff.
More so, the circular enforced that any students found with falsified registration slip, payment receipt, clearance certificate before commencement or during the conduct of the examinations are to be reported to appropriate organs of the university for proper sanctioning.
It read in part: “Only students with proof of payments and clearance certified by the constituted committee are to be allowed to sit for the examinations”.
The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olugbega Ige, has on different occasions repeated that only students who are duly registered and have paid for the first semester will be permitted to write the examinations.
Some of his words during the inauguration of the current students union executives led by Ogunsanmi Kolade, he said, “I spent four days at the University of Lagos(UNILAG) during the time they were writing examinations and I saw students holding a laminated sheet; I inquired to know what they were doing with the paper and was told it is a clearance for eligibility to participate in the ongoing examinations”.
Ige added that the university was not the poorest in the world to allow the policy of students sitting for examinations without payment.
“I approved a work and study scheme where 200 students were employed and are being paid every month. The management is doing this to bring the university back on track and thread on the same path with other universities”, said professor Ige.
Also, shortly after the matriculation ceremony of the newly admitted students for the 2020/2021 academic session, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olugbenga Ige, said during an interview with campus journalists in the institution, affirmed that the management will not revert its stand on the ‘no school fees, no examination policy’.
“I had introduced a work and study scheme which captured mostly the indigenes, where we have 200 students who were employed and are being paid every month. They worked two hours every day a week so that it will not affect their academic performance. As I am speaking with you, those employed under the scheme have been paid their full salary and we are currently working on employing a new set of people”, said Professor Ige.
The VC added that the management approved instalment payments for the returning students to ease their stress as the current economy of the country is not favourable.
Breaking down the ‘work and study scheme salary’ on paying up the students fees, he said: “Students employed for the scheme are collecting N10,000 per month and a semester is three months which accumulated salary is N30,000, and some students are paying N80,000 per session, if divided into two, a semester payment of N80,000 is N40,000. When we minus N40,000 from N30,000, it will remain N10,000 and there are no students on campus that can not generate N10,000 per semester. Therefore, there is no excuse for not paying their school fees.”
“Go and ask those students who wrote the West African Examination Council (WAEC), National Examination Council (NECO), National Business And Technical Examination Board (NABTEB), Joint Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB) and General Certificate of Education (GCE), if they did not pay before sitting for the examination,” he said.
Professor Ige noted that conducting examinations is not merely by mouth but with money, because some materials have to be bought while others need to be printed.
More so, he reiterated that any student who planned to cause violence during the examinations will be restricted from the school.
“If students are planning to cause violence and protest during the examination, they are going to leave the institution for us.”
Parents plead before the examination
Before the examination date, some parents who pleaded for pardon on behalf of the students were contacted for comments on the ‘no school, no examinations policy’ formulated by the institution.
Paul Olakunle called on the management to consider the current situation of the country by allowing the students to sit for the forthcoming examinations.
Urging the management to review the policy, he pointed out that some parents are struggling to pay house rents, food and school fees noting no parent will allow their wards to sit and remain idle at home.
Corroborating Mr. Olakunle’s point, Mr. Festus Olawale obliged the management to take into consideration parents who have many wards in universities.
according to him, some parents are artisans, market women and government workers.
“Things are not moving as expected in this country and hardly will a market woman make Ten Thousand Naira a day compared to when there was excess money in the calculation.”
“I am a civil servant in Ondo state and currently, I am collecting 65% of my salary and the salaries are not regularly paid. I have four wards in tertiary institutions whom I have to provide for. Tell me how do I pay when my salary is not coming?” said Mrs. Oluwatoyin Olaboye.
She added that before the salaries come in most times, expenses are waiting for it.
Olafunke Atunse asserted that the school should rethink the policy while urging the management to allow the newly admitted students to pay two times (semester by semester) but set a deadline for each semester’s payment.
School Close Indefinitely
Shortly after the protest, the management announced the indefinite shutdown of the institution, instructing all students to vacate the hall of residence and university campus with immediate effect.
The shutdown of the institution was contained in a circular signed by the registrar, Olugbenga Arajulu, which was obtained by THE TRUMPET.
The circular read: “Following the violent protest of students of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Ondo state, today Monday, November 22, 2021, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Olugbenga E. Ige, has, on behalf of the Senate of the university, directed that the university be closed indefinitely”
“All students are therefore advised to vacate their halls of residence and the university campus with immediate effect”
Account students are expected to make the reparation fee payment as obtained from the reopening circular.
Account Name: AAUA Reparation Account
Bank: Polaris Bank Ltd.
Account Number: 4060015043
Account Type: Current