Monday, March 22, 2010

National Polytechnic Bambui Students go on strike

The students of National Polytechnic Bambui went on strike last Friday January 29, 2010. They backed down a few hours later only after the CEO and Proprietor of the establishment, Bobe Yong Francis addressed their problems giving immediate solutions to some and promising solutions to the others.

Prior to the strike the students had presented a sort of memorandum of their grievances to the school authorities. In the undated memo captioned “Problems Encountered by Students” their grievances revolved mostly around finances. The students wished to have an explanation of an increase of 1500 francs in their registration fees for the HND up from last year.

They also sought to know why they had to pay the first and second instalments of their fees before the first semester exams, which was not the case as before. This one applied particularly to the Level 200 students.

And also sought to know why some of their Continuous Assessments are written on the blackboard and some lecturers demand money for typing and printing of their CAs. Students’ transcripts are issued upon payment of 10,000 francs meanwhile they were internal candidates.

“If students go after their semester exams without report cards, it is just but their legitimate right to have the transcripts free of charge because it is like their own report cards,” said one student to The Vanguard under anonymity.

Another grievance came from the Fashion and Fabric department. Here the students alleged, they paid 37,000 francs extra for practical work, but according to them the end of the first semester was at hand and they had not yet had one single practical.

On the contrary they are even asked to provide their own equipment. To this Bobe Yong argued that they were not supposed to collect that amount. “That department you are saying that pays 37,000 francs it is 10,000 they pay. And when they pay these 10,000 francs the lecturer in charge is supposed to come in here for any practical you have to do. The money is signed out to them to go and buy the materials. If there is any lecturer who asks students to buy this or that it is not correct.”

The students equally complained about a disciplinary council in the school, frowning at the fact that a certain Nganje Anthony Mofany was suspended by the administration for fighting with a Business Statistics teacher without giving him a chance to defend himself. About sports the students complained that the Students Union was supposed to provide transport fare to and from playgrounds but they did not.

At the end of the day a reduction of 1500 francs from the National HND registration was accorded the students. The CEO, Bobe Francis Yong, who addressed the students in front of the administrative block as the students had refused going to the Amphitheatre, made promises of solving their problems and pleaded with them to go back to class. Classes however resumed peacefully on Monday February 1, 2010.

By Nke Valentine

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