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Stampede as EBSU students struggle for Exam hall

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By Ruth Oginyi

Eight students of Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki Wednesday collapsed at the university’s permanent site in a struggle to write the GST exam. The calamity led to student’s protest on Thursday.

This reporter gathered that a stampede reportedly occurred at the permanent site of the University as a result of the large number of students who came for the computer.

The stampede occurred when the students rushed to access the school’s ICT center a venue for the exam.

Our correspondent gathered that the University had adopted the Computer Based Test (CBT) for some General Studies Program (GST) courses, (GST 101 and 102) after the long strike.

A source said the hall where the examination was to be taken was too small for the crowd of students that were to write the course.

It was gathered that all the students from the four campuses of the University were told to come to the ICT center to write the exam. “There was poor planning of the exams. The hall had just about 500 computers and the students to write the exams were over 1000”.

He blamed the University management noting that they should have staggered the exams so that the hall will not be crowded but they failed to do so.

“The incident has once again exposed the sorry state of our state University. Many students did not take part in the examination because I can assure you that only 15% of EBSU students wrote the exam.

“Knowing fully well that a one-room apartment which was paraded as ICT center cannot accommodate all the students of the institution to write GST 101 and 102”.

“They should’ve typed this exam and make photocopies 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 canceled”, the source said.

The source noted further that during struggling to go inside the one-room ICT hall to write the exam at least five students collapsed.

“The worst part of it was that there was no Medical center to rush these students who were already struggling for survival to”, the source said.

Reacting to the incident, the SUG President Abanni Samson expressed dismay at the development saying.

“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 be 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 pleaded to the students to remain calm until a confirmation is made over the rumored death.

Mr. Abanni said the SUG will be meeting with the GST management today to ensure that a repeat does not occur.

Despite his pleas, the students of the institution staged a protest on Thursday over the incident.

The protest which kicked off at the permanent site of the institution led to traffic gridlock on the busy Enugu/Abakaliki Expressway.

Policemen and soldiers were seen on the road to ensure the protest does not turn violent.

Contacted, the University PRO, Mr. Patrick Itumo could not be reached for his reaction. His phone line was switched off.

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