Staff members at the satellite campus of the National Teachers’ Institute, Kaduna, in Mokwa, Niger State, are extorting students beyond what their tuition fees payment receipts indicate, WikkiTimes can report.
Many students who cannot size up to the staff’s expectations were frustrated and end up dropping out of the school, according to students who spoke to our correspondent.
“In our students’ meeting, I had raised concerns over extortion by the institution but many feared being victimized and ignored me,” a final-year student (name withheld) of the institution told WikkiTimes.
Supposedly, art students are expected to pay N23,000 in the first semester and N17,000 in the following semester. But end up paying more than that. “We now pay N28,0000 and N22,000 separately for the first and second semesters,” he said.
Similarly, science students in the school are not exempted from extortion. “Science department too paid N30,000 in their first semester and N25,000 in their second semester but I can’t tell what exactly the institution charges them,” he claimed.
“In one of our examinations, (EDU431 and 432, 433), a supervisor who came from Kaduna queried lecturers why receipts were not issued to us but lecturers could not explain themselves,” another student claimed.
According to him, they pay N9,000 for teaching practice where N1,000 is a fee they have to pay for in-house teaching guides. Some of the payments, students believe, are mere extortion as they were never issued a receipt for it.
Often, they risk missing their exams if they fail to comply. A significant number of students who could not settle the unregulated fees were forced out of the system, WikkiTimes learnt.
Hamza Jibrin, an ex-student, became a drop in his second year of enrolment into the school. He further explained that financial crises coupled with the not-ending extortion forced him out of the school.
There was a time that the matter was reported to the centre’s headquarters in Kaduna and the extortionate staff were threatened to be dismissed, according to students. For a while, the extortion stopped and began later.
“I couldn’t continue schooling in the institution due to additional fees being added by the school management,” said Amina Mohammed, another dropout of the satellite campus. “I dropped out of the school in my first year and I have not returned to school since that time.”
When contacted, Mohammed Ndazuru Kutigi, the centre’’ coordinator, denied the allegation levelled against the management, saying it depends on the student’s level.
Kutigi explains that Art students at all levels pay N23,000 for both semesters except NC 3 students, while science students pay N26,000.
At a point, he said: “Please, this kind of question, I’m not supposed to even answer you because you are not in my jurisdiction. If you want to confirm, come down to the centre.”
WikkiTimes contacted a number made available on the school’s website but was not reachable. At press time, a text sent to the number had not been responded to.