With the NDU fully implementing its no-fees-no-exam policy with attendant protest and suspension of examinations, one would ponder over one thing – who is at fault?
For one thing, it is not helpful to any community, being it a church, a school, a government and even a business when only 10% of its total members, citizens, students or customers are paying their financial obligation to the respective entity.
It is also acknowledged that economy have gotten so bad and fragile that the common man could no longer meet up with his responsibility, thereby dragging whole systems down by letting the society around live and operate according to his means.
As the battle to abrogate the no-fees-no-exams policy continues, some members of the community are faulting management’s poor publicity and public relations activities.
In recent times, the Niger Delta University has operated with very low attention to publicity. While the status quo was not highly commendable, the situation has gotten worse recently.
Recall that the NDU management made no attempt to publicize the initial matriculation date of 3rd December, 2022. Even when it seems that the Matric could not hold, the NDU management did not bother to properly and timely inform the NDU publics to allow for readjustments. Parents, sponsors, guardians and stakeholders from across the country were already in hotels in Yenagoa before they got the news a day before that the Matric is no longer holding. This is just a day before the event.
Recall again that the second matric date slated for February 1st, 2023 was not actually confirmed neither was it published by management until a day before the event when flyers of the matric surfaced at the university entrance. This was one of the primary reasons why the NDU’s 20th matriculation became the scantiest matric ever in recent history of the University.
Before this timeout, with a zero publicity office and no public relations image, the Vice has been the one-fit-all officer playing the role of the publicity officer and the public relations officer, visiting the NDU radio to discuss the issues militating against the University.
This time around, it seems the management may have been preoccupied with power transition matters that no one is explaining to the public. Unless you dig in deeper to inquire, the public remain blind to management challenges/situation prompting these recent policies.
People are actually not aware of the financial situation with management. People are not actually aware of students’ fees behaviour. People are not actually aware of the volume of fees ready to be payable to NDU but are not paid but veered into something else. Many students wouldn’t ordinarily to pay their fees if not pushed. Without a policy such as these, many students wouldn’t even pay their fees talkless of enrolling their courses.
As stated by a management official, “students don’t pay fees again”. It was reported as quoted from a management staff in our previous publication that once the policy was implemented, fees payment increased from 3,000 students to 10, 000 students. These were fees that wouldn’t have been paid if not for such policy.
Such data will likely suggest to management that it needed not just the no-fees-no-exam policy but more of it if that will make students to actually pay their fees.
What the author however holds management responsible for is poor education and information dissemination. The NDU have a very poor/no mage maker. A sound public relations office that clarify issues and douse tension before they escalate. A PRO office that is always active to publicize and explain policies to the understanding of the public.
The author understand that any who decide that he/she is eligible to go to the university has checked all applicable fees and agreed that he/she is capable to pay all such fee. Hence, should do all he/she can to make good such obligation.
As a way forward, the author urges the NDU management to call all students back to write their exams and commence a process/campaign for public awareness amongst all stakeholders within and outside the university, notifying all who care to listen that the NDU will from the 2022/2023 academic session implement the no-fee-no-exam policy to its fullest.
This will help all involved to prepare themselves for the session ahead. Let the management do all it can to keep the community running, out of trouble, educating and enlightening the students community and the general public on the challenges facing the university and how stakeholders can come in to support the university.