[From CHINEDU NWAFOR, Abakaliki]
Students of Ebonyi State University Abakaliki have protested the decision of the school’s management to conduct some General Studies (GST) courses under a Computer Based Test (CBT) format inside a 500-capacity exam hall.
According to reports, the stampede that ensued as over 1000 students of the institution struggled to gain entrance into the examination hall located at the Permanent Site of the school saw more than five of their colleagues slump.
More than five students were confirmed to have slumped while struggling to go inside the one room ICT hall to write the exam.
It was gathered that the University had adopted the Computer Based Test (CBT) for some General Studies (GST) courses.
The GST are courses taken by all students of the institution irrespective of the department or faculty.
It was gathered that all the students from the four campuses of the University were told to come to the ICT centre to write the exam.
The protesters who blocked Abakaliki-Enugu expressway, said the hall where the examination was to be taken was too small for the mammoth crowd of students that were to write the course.
“There was poor planning of the exams. The hall had just about 500 computers and the students to write the exams were over 1000”, the protesters said.
They said the University administration should have staggered the exams so that the hall will not be crowded but they failed to do so.
“Today’s exam has again exposed the sorry state of our state University, many students did not take part in the examination and only 15% of Ebsu students wrote the exam.
“Knowing fully well that a one room apartment which was paraded as ICT centre cannot accommodate all the students of the institution to write GST 101 and 102.
“They should’ve typed this exams and make photocopies so as to get to all the students but didn’t because they paraded today’s exam to be a computer based one.
“At about 4:15, the invigilators came out to announce that the exam which has been written Midway has been cancelled”, the one of the protesters told our Correspondent.
“The worst part of it was that there was no Medical centre to rush these students who were already struggling for survival to”, the source said.
Reacting to the incident, the SUG President Abanni Samson expressed deep regret at the incident which he described as totally avoidable
“As leaders and firstly students, the SUG share in the pain of all EBSU students and on this note we assure everyone that never again will EBSU students under our leadership made to go through such horror in the name of writing any exam or undertaking any academic activity including experiences with the consultancy unit of the university”.
“The planning could have been better, to prevent the mayhem that was recorded today. I am personally sorry for all who got hurt in any way.”
He implored the students to remain calm until confirmation is made over the rumored death.
Mr Abanni said the SUG would be meeting with the GST management today to ensure that a repeat did not occur.
The spokesman of the Institution, Patrick Itumo could not be reached for comments.