The Dean of the Faculty of Arts of the University of Bamenda, Uba, Professor Canute Ngwa, has slammed postgraduate students accusing members of defense jury of extortion.
Prof Canute opened the pandora box Friday January 28. This was during a one-day meeting grouping officials of the faculty and postgraduate students.
According to Prof Ngwa, students decide on their own like any African tradition to offer refreshment to their panelist and it’s not inscribed in any text that governs academic activities .
“ I’m surprised that students give members of the jury a miserable piece of chicken after the defense or during pre-defense and go to the social media and cry foul of academic extortion. Tell me, which lecturer here can’t afford a full chicken and a drink in his or her home,” the academic thundered.
Prof Ngwa gave room for course coordinators of each class to say in the open if there is any form of extortion in the faculty. All the coordinators said there was no such practice in the faculty.
The Dean came under pressure last week after some students spread information on the social media raising claims of extortion.
According to some of the students, the faculty had mapped out an extortionist mechanism to impoverish postgraduate students. This, they had said, was in the name of pre-defenses.
According to the students, the various departments often organize pre-defenses and ask each student to contribute the sum of 100.000 FCFA. Most students have described the amount as shocking
Class Coordinators to Be Blamed
Most tudents in Anglo-Saxon universities like Bamenda and Buea are said to have developed the habit of making contribution for pre-dense sessions. It is alleged some of the class coordinators have now taken it as full-time business. They are said to have entered alliances with décor dealers and photographers to “dupe” students.
It is reported that class coordinators ask students to pay heavy sums of money to produce a pictorial backdrop for laureates to take pictures, decorate the hall, provide snacks and water to the various juries at the end of the exercise. In this process, most of them are said to line their pockets.
Beyond the extortion claims, the meeting had a one point agenda which was to conscientise postgraduate students on the procedures and the academic requirements that culminate to the final defense of dissertations and thesis.
Professor Ngwa alongside vice deans told students that postgraduate studies are very much different from the undergraduate. The academics said the postgraduate has a wide ranges of pedagogic procedure that must be carried to guide student as they precede with their final research works.