FEDPOFFA Students Protest Holiday Extension

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SUG President of the school, Imran Yusuf Olalekan, leading the protest against the holiday extension
SUG President of the school, Imran Yusuf Olalekan, leading the protest against the holiday extension

From Mutiat Ibrahim and Hakeem Kareem, Offa

Students of the Federal Polytechnic Offa, Kwara State (FEDPOFFA) have expressed displeasure over the management’s decision to postpone the institution’s resumption date for second semester of the 2015/2016 academic session from the earlier slated 4th April to May 3.

The decision for the postponement was taken at the Academic Board Meeting allegedly meant for drafting academic calendar of the semester held on 7th April and communicated to the polytechnic community via a memo signed by the registrar of the institution and pasted at the entrance of the institution’s mini campus located along Offa-Osogbo express way.

The management of the polytechnic gave no reason for its decision in the memo released to the polytechnic community.

The institution had been on the recess since March 18 after first semester examination which lasted for four weeks. Academic activities for the second semester were earlier scheduled to commence on April 4.
Investigation revealed that most students who travelled to their respective homes for the holiday had since been returning to school while some were planning to return at the weekend hoping for normal academic activities to commence the next Monday (11th April) since the semester lecture timetable has been released on 6th April.
The students, shortly after the release of the memo, expressed their grievances mostly via the social media i.e. Facebook and WhatsApp group chats, condemning the decision as some parents of the students also joined in condemning it.
Speaking with The Dream Daily, a student of the Department of Business Administration who simply gave her name as Olabisi frowned at the development, saying “the management never keep to their words”.

The Accountancy student who had returned to school for the second semester activities described the decision as “uncalled for,” lamenting that students ought to have been informed before the earlier slated date of resumption. She however urged her fellow students not to be discouraged but use the period fruitfully.

Another student of Library and Information Science who does not want his name in print, described the decision as “suspicious”, stressing that it needed to be investigated. “We can no longer tolerate this inhumane treatment; we are human beings and need to be treated as such. Imagine, I just returned to school on Tuesday hoping for lectures to commence next Monday before they took this inhumane decision, not even minding the effect it will have on the students” he lamented.

Also speaking with The Dream Daily on the issue, a Mass Communication student who only gave his name as Olalekan said, “Honestly, it is barbaric and painful. I did not travel for the break considering the present fuel and economic situation coupled with the short time break since the holiday was earlier meant to last for two weeks and I reside in the far north part of the country.
“And having waited for the break to elapse, the management then decided to add another one month after the earlier slated date has elapsed, this is unfair. The government needs to intervene as we can no longer fold arms watching them jeopardize our future for their selfish interest because we still have a long way to go”.

Some students of the institution, in what they posted online to express their dissatisfaction with the decision of the management, accused the Student Union Government of not representing them well.

Similarly, some parents of the students who spoke with The Dream Daily faulted the resumption postponement as they called on the institution’s management to stop wasting the time of the students. They said two weeks were enough for the holiday as long as the first semester break was concerned, stressing that any reason the management would give for the postponement must be tangible enough when weighed on the side of both management and students.
However, they urged the students to be patient as the new date would soon arrive, even as they called on the school authorities not to jeopardize the future of their wards “who are the leaders of tomorrow.”

In a reaction, the Student Union President, Comrade Imran Yusuf Olalekan, assured the students that he was not keeping mute on the matter as he had earlier led a protest and met with the School management who gave financial problems caused by the Treasury Single Account (TSA) initiated by the President Muhammadu Buhari’s government among others challenges as reasons for taking such decision.

He explained that the management lamented inadequate fund to carry out some policies it intended to do as there were problems in getting fund from the money remitted to the TSA.
“They (management) told us that the bursar will be going to Abuja on Monday to rectify some issues as regard the TSA with the Federal Government and promised to give us feedback once he is back”, he said.
The union leader however restated his commitment to ensuring that the management reversed its decision of resuming academic activities on May 3, explaining that he had acknowledged its adverse effect on students, especially the HND II students who should be mobilized for NYSC in October.
Efforts to reach members of staff of the polytechnic for comments proved abortive.

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