The 37 Kano nursing students currently on scholarship in Egypt have cried out over the state government’s plan to withdraw them over alleged poor performance.
In a statement sent to DAILY NIGERIAN, the affected students explained the reason why their performance was below average, saying the botched plan by the state government to transfer them to another school was the cause of the problem.
Below is their side of the story…
The issue we are currently dealing with actually started last year. In January 2016, some group of students wrote a letter to the Deputy Governor of Kano State Professor Hafeez Abubakar, telling him about the problems students were facing regarding the school, the racism in the street (we are the first group of black people to live in the city for long), the issue of upkeep allowances and our problem with the agent.
The Deputy Governor, after going through the letter, asked the students whether they wanted to be transferred and they answered ‘Yes’.
After that, the director of scholarship board sent a message to our then president, ordering that all the students should stop going to school till the issue of the transfer is settled. She (the director) came here (Egypt) early March, after we spent two months doing nothing, and asked us to move to October 6 university in Cairo. There we spent another 3 months doing nothing while classes are still going on. By July, she sent a new message that the government couldn’t fulfil the condition of the transfer set by the contractor. So, we should go back to Mansoura University and continue with our studies without a single problem being solved.
We returned back late July and took some Summer courses since we’ve already missed a semester and our GPA was calculated with 0.00 of the semester we missed.
We filed a complaint to the scholarship board, to the embassy and we even told the governor about it when he visited us, but nothing was done. So after we finished the Summer courses in December 2016, the contractor/agent wrote a letter to the government, telling them that the students’ performance was very low, especially the 37 students whose GPA was less than 2.00.
We heard nothing about it until April, after we already finished another semester.
Suddenly, we read in the news that the Kano state government had decided to return those 37 students on the basis of low performance. We tried to explain that it wasn’t because we’re not doing well but because of that missing semester, which resulted in our scoring low GPA. Even at that, most of us are now above 2.00 points, some even above 3 points. We improved and we’re improving despite the setbacks. They promised to investigate again and consider.
A couple of weeks ago, we heard they called our patents (we the 37 students) and handed them flight tickets that they should send it to us. The government can no longer pay for our education, our parents were told. The parents were disappointed and refused to accept the tickets.
So on Friday, without telling us, they came directly to Egypt. A 3-man delegate, including the director Higher Education Board and the Permanent Secretary Higher Education Board, with the intent to ask the university to withdraw the students and allow them to take them back home. We held a meeting with them, and they told us that they personally believed it wasn’t our fault, but it’s government’s decision – they’re only following orders. They promised to write a new report to the government but the next thing we saw was our last year’s results posted publicly online (mind you, it was the result we got immediately after we returned from October 6 University, calculated with 0.00 GPA).
We are terrified right now, we’re nobody’s sons and daughters. If we return to Nigeria without completing our degrees, most of us won’t have the courage to restart again. Some of us have already started some higher institutions in Nigeria before acquiring the scholarship, and now they want to bring us back with nothing.
Please Sir, help us. Speak up for us. We’ve faith if people like you speak out, our lives could be saved.
They publicly said we’re thugs and drug addicts, it’s unfortunately not true. We’re sons and daughters of Kano State. If someone from Kano calls us thugs in a foreign land he’s destroying the image of our dear state. Nobody needs to assassinate our characters for personal gain. Imagine if it’s your children!
Note that the GPA system is 4.00 maximum, unlike the Nigerian system of 5.00
Thank you so much Sir. This is what happened.
*The student who sent this to DAILY NIGERIAN on behalf of the affected students pleaded anonymity for fear of victimisation