Despite claims of free education by the government of Rochas Okorocha, there were protests in Imo State University, Owerri, IMSU, on Wednesday and Thursday as students of the university were barred from examination halls over non payment of school fees.
The state government had always said that there is free education from primary to university level in the state.
But IMSU management at the on going second semester examinations, which started on Monday, stopped many students from writing their exams over school fees.
Kingsley Chukwu of the faculty of social sciences, who was affected by the policy told the Punch that security men were at the entrance of every examination hall to restrict students who had no proof of payment of school fees from going inside the examination halls.
According to him, students who smartly entered the examination halls were dragged out by the security operatives, who said that they were acting based on an instruction from above.
He said, “Security men are positioned at the entry point of every examination hall. You must show proof of payment of school fees before you are allowed to go in. It is called ‘operation show school fees payment teller or you leave.’ This is very surprising to all of us because the governor told us that there is free education from primary to university level in Imo State.”
Another undergraduate who did not want his name in print added, “Please tell the governor to keep his total free education promise to Imo indigenes studying here in IMSU.
“Can you believe it that today, most of us who have not paid due to the harsh economy in the country were chased away and barred from doing our exams.”
When contacted, the IMSU Public Relations Officer, Obi Njoku confirmed the development but said, “it is the non indigenes that were prevented from doing their exams over non payment of school fees. The indigenes of the state were only barred from entering the examination halls over non payment of ancillary fees.”