Angry students of the Southern Nigeria Institute of Innovative Technology, Ifewara, Osun State, set fire to several properties in the school including a female hostel and some cars, Monday.
Femi Makinde, a Punch correspondent in the state garnered that “the students started the violent action on Sunday when they learnt that the National Board for Technical Education did not accredit their course”.
The unaffected students condemned their colleagues’ actions in a phone chat with Makinde. They were accused of inciting violence when they learnt their courses which they had applied and received admission for were not accredited.
“We had our matriculation on Friday and some students said their courses were not accredited. This led to a serious protest and they destroyed so many things before they set the school on fire. They chased female students away and stole our laptops, phones and other things before they set the female hostel on fire”, one of the students said.
The student also confirmed “the protest started on Sunday evening and continued as early as 7am on Monday. Peace was restored to the school only when police men came this morning”.
The Chairman, Governing Council of SNIIT, Dr Kola Christwealth denied the non-accreditation story when contacted for comments. Christwealth however blamed the students action on ignorance saying “the students lacked understanding of the program in the school”. He said:
“Our courses were accredited by NBTE. We are only encouraging our students to enroll for professional exams. We did not charge them anything for preparing them for the exams but they will only pay to register for the examinations.
The payment is to the professional bodies like the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, Nigerian Institute of Management and others. They are not going to pay us but some of them said we should be the ones to pay”.
The school would have avoided the violence by being as transparent with its students as possible. Those Osun students do not play at all. Were the students defending their right by inciting violence and setting their school ablaze?
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