Degree programme graduating students of the Federal College of Education (FCE), Pankshin in Plateau State on Monday held members of the school’s management hostage for failing to release their results in time for their call up into the National Youth Service Corps.
Over 2000 students are awaiting the results of the degree programme that they completed since 2014. The college runs the programme in affiliation with the University of Jos.
Faced with the prospect of missing the last lap of the 2016 NYSC scheme, for which the call-up registration portal closed on Monday, the students converged on the school to press its management for immediate action.
In an interview with journalists in his office, acting Provost of the College, Emele Ezema, blamed the delay in release of the results on the University of Jos, which he said was yet to conclude the necessary protocols for validating them.
Mr. Ezema expressed regret that the delay meant the students would not be able to participate in the NYSC scheme until next year.
“The possibility of the affected students being mobilised for this November 2016 NYSC scheme is slim, because the portal closes this night (Monday),” he said.
“But their results will be ready soon, because the Senate of the University of Jos is meeting on Wednesday to approve the results.”
But investigations by PREMIUM TIMES revealed that the University of Jos had refused to endorse the results because FCE Pankshin failed to fulfill parts of it obligations to the university.
Some of the affected students lamented that they would not be able to take part in the NYSC scheme after this year for reason of age.
Ingyer Terhemen, one of the affected student, told journalists that he concluded his course since 2013.
“If the school management fails to mobilize us for NYSC at the end of 2016, someone like me will no longer qualify because by next year (2017) I will be above 30 (the official age limit for the scheme).”
PREMIUM TIMES also learnt that seven of the students have died since they completed their courses in the college. It was not established however that this had any link to the delay in the release of their results.
“Some of us have become like beggars, because our parents are even tired of feeding us as adults, said Ziyak Yakubu. “We cannot work anywhere because we do not have evidence that we went to school. No results, and we haven’t (done) the mandatory one-year service scheme (NYSC).”
But the vice president of the National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS), Felix Attah, appealed to for calm.
Mr. Attah, who was at the school to intervene, told journalists after a closed-door meeting with the school’s management that NANS had demanded that the results be released immediately.
He appealed to the students to avoid any act capable of complicating the process and to remain peaceful.
“NANS shares in the pains of the students, but they must remain peaceful. Violence is not the solution”, he said.
Mr. Attah said the management of the college assured him that the results would be ready soon, “because University of Jos Senate will this Wednesday deliberate on how to approve the results”.
“We will ensure a follow up to the university to ascertain their claims, we will not rest until the issues are addressed,” the NANS official said.
PREMIUM TIMES saw a copy of a three-page letter the affected students had written on January 28 to the Plateau State House of Assembly in which they appealed for the intervention of the state lawmakers.
Although the letter was copied to the Federal Ministry of Education, it did not yield relief for the students.
After they were addressed by the NANS official, the students agreed to give the management until the end of this week to release their results, failing which they threatened to shut down the college.