The recent announcement by the management of Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto (UDUS) stating that students who fail to complete registration within the extended deadlines will face deferral of the current academic session has left many students in a state of sorrow and mental distress. The closure of the registration portals and the blockage of their school accounts have caused a collective outcry from thousands of distressed UDUS students, leaving the student community overwhelmed with sadness. While it is commendable that the university management has granted multiple extensions for returning students’ registration, the students express their desire for further assistance, pleading to the compassionate hearts of the management to alleviate this unfortunate circumstance resulting from the closure of the university’s registration portal.

Conscientious and dedicated students who have a strong desire for education are expected to make every effort to engage in activities that will shape a prosperous future for themselves. They strive to pay their school fees and complete their registration promptly, without external persuasion. However, the unfortunate situation faced by many Danfodites who have been unable to complete their registrations despite the three generous deadline extensions can be attributed to reasonable factors that have hindered them from meeting the requirements. These students deserve the management’s empathy, and the school should consider reopening the registration portal at least one last time for the sake of these students.

For most UDUS students who haven’t paid their school fees, the primary reason for missing the registration deadline is their financial situation, given the state of the country’s economy. These students are juggling between working and studying, striving independently to ensure they don’t drop out of school, despite the increase in school fees. Despite their best efforts, they have been unable to gather the necessary funds before the closure of the registration portal, leaving them trapped in this current predicament. The school management should take into account the circumstances faced by these students and consider reopening the registration portal for their benefit.

Furthermore, students who have paid their school fees but were unable to proceed with course registration have encountered factors that contributed to their failure to complete registration before the deadlines. Discrepancies between the portal and the students’ handbook regarding course units, such as some departments showing 2 units instead of 3 units as stated in the departmental handbook, have caused confusion. Some of these students claimed to have reported the issue to the authorities and were instructed to wait with the registration until their accounts were blocked. Therefore, it is unjust to place the blame solely on these students.

Another factor that has hindered some students from completing registration is the delay in the release of previous session results by certain departments or faculties. Without the release of these results, registration cannot be finalized, as the delayed results continue to show as carry-overs on students’ portals, burdening their CGPA. The management needs to recognize the impact of this delay on the affected students and provide them with the necessary support.

Considering the aforementioned factors, we hope that the management acknowledges them as substantial reasons to reconsider the decision of deferring the current session for students who have not completed registration. We urge the management to grant a further extension of the registration deadline with a more generous timeframe, showing compassion and understanding towards the challenges faced by the students.

A Call on the Students’ Union

When a new leader assumes the throne, the hope is always that they will govern more effectively than their predecessors. UDUS students have started to reminisce about a better past under the Caretaker Committee [of selection and imposition] in comparison to the current elected student leaders.

During the tenure of the Shamsudeen-led CTC administration in the 2020/2021 academic session, when the school management set a deadline for the closure of registration, an appeal was made to the management, and students were granted additional time to register. They even had the opportunity to make instalment payments per semester, which eased the burden for struggling students and allowed them to focus on their academics.

It is disheartening to note that an assumed imposed leader was able to advocate for the welfare of fellow students and achieve positive results, while the elected representatives only conveyed a disappointing message about their futile efforts to represent the students at the management level.

Dear SU leaders, if you are unsure of your responsibilities, we would like to draw your attention to how you can best serve the interests of your fellow students.

Instead of imposing an illegal registration fee on States Associations within your first week in office, why not first demonstrate the value of what they would be paying for and why they should be motivated to contribute? Show them through your unwavering efforts in resolving the predicament that students find themselves in.

Form a committee comprising the presidents of these States’ Associations. Invite members of the press to be part of the team. Secure a physical appointment with the Vice Chancellor, who is known for his attentive nature. Present a well-written letter of appeal and plead for another extension on behalf of the entire students. There is hope that it will be taken into consideration, as our VC has shown mercy in the past.

If achieved, this development will be applauded by the state associations, and they will be genuinely motivated to participate in every activity organized by the SU.

Students commend your efforts so far, but, in their lamentations, are tired of hearing the “we’ve tried our best” narrative from you. They seek tangible outcomes. Engage with their local leaders and let them witness the success of your endeavours.

When a chameleon brings forth a child, is the child not expected to dance? We’ve elected you as our representatives; Act by representing our interests well.

Hayatullahi Folorunsho Mudathir (Abu Lubabah)

Editor-in-chief of PEN PRESS UDUS.

25th June, 2023.

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