The exams and records building of the Federal Polytechnic, Oko, in Anambra State was torched by fire in the early hours of Tuesday, destroying vital records and documents.
A bus belonging to the school was also razed by the fire.
The fire, which was noticed by students around 1 a.m., is believed to have been deliberately started by some students over the recent decision of the school management to abolish the Computer Based Test, CBT, and revert to Pen on Paper Test, PPT for the exams which just started.
The school management had in 2014 switched to the CBT mode for all exams in the school.
This was to stem the financial exploitation of students by lecturers before, during and after exams, which had reached an alarming rate at that time.
PREMIUM TIMES gathered that when the school announced its intentions to switch to PPT from CBT, posters were seen across the institution warning the management to desist from the move or the school will burn down.
Some of the posters seen by this reporter read ‘they complain of excess work load, yet they fight for pen on paper test. No CBT, No Exam” #westandforcbt
Another read ‘commence ppt and face demolition. Oko will burn down’ #westandforcbt’.
A student, who would not want to be named, for fear of victimisation, who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES, said the lecturers were not happy with the CBT mode as it stopped them from making financial and sexual demands on the students, before passing them.
“That is why they pushed for PPT in our exams which started yesterday, which will favour them”.
The police spokesperson in the state, Haruna Mohammed, confirmed the incident.
He said the police has mobilised its officers to the school to restore calm and ensure the situation does not escalate.
“We have commenced investigation and the fire is believed to have been intentionally set by unknown (persons). So far no arrests have been made but we are on top of the situation”.
The school gate, as at 11 am, was under lock and key, which prevented students living off the campus from gaining access while those living inside the school hotels could also not go out.
Heavily armed police men on foot and in patrol vans could be seen at strategic points within and around the school premises.