Some students of the Lagos State Polytechnic, LASPOTECH, now Lagos State University of Science and Technology, LASUSTECH, are made to spend four years for National Diploma, ND courses that should normally not exceed three years at most.
The students are now appealing to the state government, owners of the institution, to intervene.
Checks by Saturday Vanguard showed that out of frustration, some of the students have abandoned their courses.
Mostly affected are students in the Isolo Campus of the institution who are studying courses like Accountancy, Mass Communication, Banking and Finance, among others.
Even though they study as part-time students, they go to school daily to attend lectures and are made to pay fees that keep increasing every session.
Relating her experience, one of the students in the Mass Communication Department (name withheld), said she has spent over three years for her ND program.
“I bought the application form in 2019 for N10,000 and was offered admission in the Department of Mass Communication that year. They categorised us as Daily Part-time students and we attend lectures every day.
“Every year, the school fees keep increasing. We started with N68,000 fee in 2019, now we pay over N80,000. That is aside other sundry fees. We buy N500 test cards to write tests and the classes are just too huge in number. We are heading towards the fourth year on campus, when are we going to conclude everything? Many have left since it is like the program is unending,” she said.
Also sharing her experience with Saturday Vanguard, another student of the school who pleaded anonymity said: “Initially, the program was supposed to be a three-year program as it was stated in the first admission letter we printed out, but it was later reduced to two years so we had to reprint the admission letter.
I would say the COVID-19 pandemic is part of the reason for the delay, and also the school authorities don’t take our program seriously because they feel they’re doing us a favour by admitting us to the school.
“We were supposed to resume lectures last semester around December/January, would you believe that no lecturer was assigned to us till March?”
On her part, one of the affected students said: “They call our program School of Part-time Studies, Day.
We go to school from Monday to Friday, our time table sometimes runs from 8:00am to 4:00pm so I don’t know why it’s called part-time. I have been running the OND program since 2019.
I thought ND is just two years but when I asked why we’ve spent so much time running just OND, I was told it’s because I am doing part-time studies and it runs from ND 1-3.
Asked if they have tried to find out from the authorities why the OND program was taking too long, one of the students said they did not have the courage to ask the authorities questions as that may affect their results. It’s called a part-time program but we attend classes from Monday to Sunday, just like full-time students.
Another said: “I personally haven’t gone to the authorities to complain so I don’t know what they’re saying about it, students just complain among themselves and some drop and change school.
“I don’t understand why we spend more time than the so-called full-time students because we take same lectures, read same books and take same exams. Everyone is fed up in my department.
“Four years is what is used to obtain a B.Sc. and we’re here wasting time for just OND not even HND
It’s frustrating and many in my school have lost interest in school,” she lamented.
Reacting to the development, the Director of Information and Public Relations, Lagos State University of Science & Technology, LASUSTECH, Mr. Lanre Kuye, explained that the students are truly pursuing part-time courses.
“They are in the School of Part-Time Studies. Their programs run for six semesters but all other things being equal, they are not supposed to spend four years in school except they have carry-overs. They should confirm to you that they were not admitted through UTME conducted by JAMB.
“The welfare of our students is top priority that we don’t take for granted. If the school is not shut down because of strike or anything, in two full calendar years, they should have finished their programs. May be those complaining have carry-overs in their courses,” he said.
Saturday Vanguard gathered that some school management usually use such illegal admissions to generate funds for their schools, as students involved are most of the time categorized as part- time day students or part-time weekend students and are made to pay higher fees than regular students.
The students are also made to spend more semesters in school, with the hope that their admissions would be regularized before they complete their courses.
Asked whether they passed through the right admission process through UTME conducted by JAMB and had no carry-overs, all the students who spoke to Saturday Vanguard said they indeed wrote the UTME and made good grades but the school requested for only the WAEC results. Moreover, none of them had any carry-over.
“I did write UTME because it was late for me to enter with my UTME so I was referred to the School of Part-Time Studies which is supposed to be six semesters in two years,” one of the students said, while another said: “When I went to the school to register, they only asked me for my WAEC results. I have had no carry-overs. It was after we had spent over two years in the school that we asked them why our own program is different; is an ND program no longer two years or slightly more than two years at most? It was then they told us that we were doing Part-time Day.
“I don’t understand what that means because we run the same program as those they claim are full-time students. We go to school Monday to Friday. The only part-time program I know runs on Saturdays and Sundays. Sometimes our timetable runs from 8:00am to 4:00pm so how is that part-time? The only difference is that those ones they call part-time students wrote UTME but for my Set, they only asked for our WAEC results so I don’t understand what is going on.”
Continuing, she said: “I have my UTME, with very good score. I went with everything when I went to register but I was only asked for my WAEC results.
It was after registration when I saw the admission letter that I saw Part-time Day. I asked what that meant because I had expected full-time program.
They told me that if I wanted a full-time program, I should go to the Ikorodu Campus because Isolo Campus had no more space for full-time students and I had already registered. Even at that, how can you be spending four years and counting, running an ND, it’s not proper!”