Abakaliki Protest: Irate Students Oppose Poor Hostel Management
Academic activities have been brought to a halt in the Government Technical College (GTC), Abakaliki in Ebonyi State over claims of poor feeding, poor hostel management and lack of functional technical equipment.
The News Agency of Nigeria quoted the Senior Prefect (SP) of the college, Uche Nwankwo, as saying that the school has been poorly managed since its handover by Ebonyi Government to the Catholic Church in 2016.
“We are protesting so that the government, the church and the public can hear us because several efforts we have made as students to get the school management listen to our grievances have failed.
“We have on so many occasions complained to the principal of the school the hardship we are facing due to poor learning environment, poor feeding, lack of functional laboratory and technical workshop as well as lack of hostel maintenance.
“Since the full takeover of the school administration by the Catholic Church in January, 2017 there has not been any practical in any of the subjects we offer in the school and this is a technical college.
“The principal stopped all recreational and sporting activities in the school and as I speak to you there are no functional electric bulbs in any of the dormitories and the school refectory.
“We have complained and complained and the principal was not receptive to the problems we are going through and that is why the students decided to embark on the protest as a last resort.
“We demand that the principal should be removed and that the school be properly funded to meet the academic and social needs of the students,” Nwankwo said.
Be Calm And Go Back To Class
Efforts to speak with the principal, Reverend Sister Amaka (other name not given) were fruitless as she was alleged to have been smuggled out of the school to avoid being attacked by the students.
But the Vice Principal, Reverend Father James Nwofoke, said that the withdrawal of the 5,000 Naira subvention paid by the state government for each student per term is affecting the institution's fiances.
“We depend on the 5,000 Naira paid by students which includes the tuition and hostel service charge for the running of the school and the money is hardly sufficient to provide the basic needs of these students.
“The school management is working hard to ensure that the students’ academic and social welfare are taken care of.
“We are appealing to the students to be calm and go back to classes and avoid any conduct that will truncate the academic time table of the school,” Nwofoke said.
The Ebonyi Commissioner for Education, Professor John Eke, who intervened, decried the development and said that government would interface with the school management and Catholic Church to address the problem.
He also appealed to the protesters to remain calm.