Rights group seeks justice for UNILAG ‘medical students’
In view of the ongoing feud between the management of University of Lagos, Akoka, and the would-be medical students who were denied progression to College of Medicine, a rights group, Education Rights Campaign (ERC), has called on the government and stakeholders concerned to urgently intervene in the matter.
Recall that the affected students were denied entry to the Departments of Medicine and Surgery (MBBS), Dentistry, Medical Laboratory, Nursing, Physiotherapy, Physiology and Radiography respectively after meeting all the mandatory requirements due to issues of quota system by the regulatory bodies. This, however, resulted in the university authority redistributing affected students to various programmes outside the programme of their choice.
National Coordinator of the group, Mr. Hassan Taiwo Soweto, during a joint briefing with the aggrieved parents and students in Lagos, demanded that the students be allowed to proceed to CMUL to continue in their desired academic programmes. He said the affected students must not be made to suffer for the indiscretion of the university, urging all stakeholders to rise to the call.
According to him, “The affected students are from the Departments of Medicine and Surgery (MBBS), Dentistry, Medical Laboratory, Nursing, Physiotherapy, Pharmacology, Physiology and Radiography respectively. As everyone knows, admission into the university system is a contract guided by a set of rules and conditions. An admitted student therefore is one who has entered into a binding agreement with the University. This binding agreement stipulated in what is generally known as A Student Handbook often covers conducts, duties and responsibilities expected of a student as well as stipulated academic qualifications required to progress from one class to another up to acquiring a university’s certificate in the respective courses of study”.
Both parties, he continued, “are bound to respect the provisions of this agreement or risk sanctions. But what happens when the university admit students into certain programmes using a set of rules and conditions and then an academic session after, suddenly changes these rules in a violent breach of a contractual agreement? That is the key issue in the current dispute and it is why we have brought UNILAG before the court of public opinion. What the University of Lagos has done amounts to changing the rules in the middle of a game.
“We call on the students union, staff unions, medical and health workers unions and the general public to join us in condemning the actions of the university. An injury to one is an injury to all,” Soweto expressed.
Speaking on behalf of other affected students, Oludola Oyenuga, expressed that the quotas are not new, wondering why the management would rub them of their aspirations. “For me, it is either Medicine and Surgery or nothing”, he said.
Representative of aggrieved parents, Mr Chucks Elue said “what UNILAG did to these students is ‘cruel and wicked’ they have thrown these students off balance psychologically and have had their dreams brutally terminated.
We are therefore calling on President Muhammadu Buhari, National University Commission (NUC), academic bodies, the Minister of Education, Nigerian and all stakeholders to see that justice is done to these students.
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