■ There is a heavy presence of security operatives in Jos as the Plateau State Polytechnic students protest the postponement of exams, saying they have spent three years for one semester.
A semester is less than four months.
“We have spent over three years in just one semester owing to COVID-19 lockdown. But largely due to the various strikes embarked upon by our lecturers,” said Deborah John, a student at the polytechnic.
Ms John described the institution’s decision as an attempt to truncate their academic journey.
The armed security agents at the protest scene were said to have been deployed to forestall the breakdown of law and order.
The students trooped out en masse and blocked the Yakubu Gowon way, leading to Jos’ major highway.
The postponement of the semester exams was due to an indefinite strike by the school’s lecturers, who had issued a notice of strike to the government.
They are demanding their earned allowances and sundry issues.
“We came to school this morning to start our examinations only to see a circular that our lecturers have been on strike since Friday,” Ms John disclosed. “We were not informed. Nobody said anything to us. We just discovered that we could not start our examinations.”
The student added, “This is why we are protesting, and it is a peaceful protest because all we want is to go in and sit our examinations.”
She further lamented that “we are getting old, and by the time we graduate, we can’t find jobs because of age.”
Another student, Israel Longdu, decried the incessant strike by their lecturers.
“Nobody has come to address us on the issue, and we feel this is not right. We demand a proper explanation from the management on why we cannot start our examinations today,” Mr Longdu explained. “We are tired of this back and forth. Our academic journey is suffering, and this is not good for us.”
When the polytechnic’s spokesman, John Ramadan, was contacted on the issue, he said he would get back.●
[Courtesy: NEWS AGENCY OF NIGERIA]