It is no longer news that the Senate of Abia State University gave Students, two weeks to pay 50 percent of their school fees and register their courses, ahead of the first semester Examination. Within this period, academic activities will be suspended, and students are expected to use the window of opportunity to ensure they register their courses.
Since this announcement, there have been different opinions expressed by students, parents, and others, on the propriety or otherwise of such directive, especially in view of the present economic situation in the County. Some of the opinions were either for lack of proper understanding of the new focus of this administration led by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor E. Uche Ikonne, to ensure every registration and admission process in the University is done online, or probably, for lack of appreciation of the challenges of running a University in these times.
Now, the summary of what the University Management is saying is as follows:
– As a student of ABSU you must register your courses.
– To register your courses, you are expected to pay just 50% of your total fees this semester. If you do not register your courses on line, you will not be able to access your results.
– The reconciliation of results is done as you register your courses and access your results each semester, easing off the challenges that go with manual result reconciliation.
– If you take exams, without registration of your courses, you are building up troubles for yourself, which could keep you from joining your colleagues to graduate and go for service at the duration of your study.
These are measures introduced by the present administration to tackle some of the challenges ABSU students encountered in previous years, whereby a student will complete his course of study, and it will take another one or two years to reconcile the results, after payment of fees arrears. The student suffers at the end of it all.
But presently, course registration is done on line, fees payment on line, and at the pressing of the button, all your results will show, and when transcript are needed, it is also delivered without delay.
This E- registration introduced by the administration among other innovations contributed to the improved ranking of the University to 3rd position among State Universities in the Country, and 45th among the over 200 Universities in the Country.
It is true, things are hard. The same applies everywhere, even in running a University. More so, it is harder, when change is introduced in times like this.
Was it not Robert Schuler that said “Tough times’ never last, but tough people do” So it is still in these tough times that parents send their children to expensive private schools and pay their fees before resumption of academic activities. It is still in these tough times, that even students rent expensive private lodges, install expensive household gadgets in them, yet fees payment will be the last thing on their mind. This, I think, is a matter of priority.
As we know, what needs to be done must be done, either now, or some other day. The students must pay his/her school fees before graduation or National Service. An Igbo adage advice that “The farmer should quickly get done with the farm located along the major road, to avoid being distracted everyday with greetings from passers by”.
Professor Ikonne is laying a solid foundation for a new Abia State University that will be reckoned with globally. He is transiting from the analogue to digital, which is the way forward all over the world. Let us support his change agenda whose dividends have become very visible in so many areas in the University. This is just one of such changes his administration has introduced for the interest of the students. His change mantra revolves around the students, and that is why they conferred him as their ‘Most Senior Course Representative’ as well as the ‘Okaa Ome I of ABSU’. As they will testify, the era of sorting is gone, sale of handouts abolished, robust academic environment encouraged, students have dedicated line to report to the Vice-Chancellor, any form of molestation or extortion.
These are the best times in Abia State University. Salaries of workers are paid, infrastructural development at its peak. All the University Senate is asking for is that students pay at least, 50 percent of their school fees within this grace period and register their courses before exams commence. That’s all! Is this too much to ask from parents of these tomorrow’s Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers, Businessmen/women, Politicians, Architects, Presidents, Governors, and leaders?
Students, what future are you building for yourself, if you are the type that squanders the school fees given to you in these hard times. If you say education is expensive, you may perhaps try ignorance. There is no where in the world that education is free. Every so called free education is paid for by someone. Let us order our priorities right by making sacrifices and investing in the future, albeit, the education of our Children.
The future of our Children is in our hand. Make the right choice today