Some students of the Southern Nigeria Institute of Innovate Technology, Ifewara in Osun State on Monday set the private institution ablaze because some courses offered by the school were allegedly not accredited.
Our correspondent gathered that some of the students had turn violent on Sunday evening, vandalising the school’s property, when they learnt that their courses were not accredited by the National Board for Technical Education.
Buildings in the school and vehicles were torched by the irate students.
Some of the students who spoke to our correspondent on the telephone said their colleagues whose courses were not accredited started the crisis.
One of them said, “We had our matriculation on Friday and some students said they were told that their courses had not been accredited. This led to a serious protest and they destroyed so many things before they set the school on fire.
“They chased us, female students, away and stole our laptops, phones and other things before they set the female hostel on fire. They burnt everywhere.
“The protest started on Sunday evening and continued as early as 7am this morning. Peace was restored to the school only when policemen came today.”
However, the Chairman Governing Council of SNIIT, Dr. Kola Christwealth, when contacted on the telephone by our correspondent debunked the claim.
He blamed the students’ action on ignorance, saying they lacked understanding of the programmes the school had for them.
Christwealth said he had not visited the school to assess the level of damage done by the rampaging students.
He said the school had encouraged the students to take professional examinations relevant to their programmes without charging them extra tuition but the students were completely ignorant of the benefits there.
He said, “Our courses were accredited by NABTE. We are only encouraging our students to enroll for professional exams. We did not charge them anything for preparing them for the exams but they will only pay to register for the examinations.
“The payment is to the professional bodies like ICAN, NIM and other. They are not going to pay us but some of them said we should be the ones to pay for them.
“They will get our diplomas alongside the professional certificates and this will make them employable and to be better than most of their mates elsewhere but they are ignorant.
“Their grouse simply is that the school should pay for their professional exams and we did not make it mandatory for them. It is optional; you can decide to get only our diploma without writing any professional exam.”
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Kola Sodipo, when contacted said he had not been briefed about the incident.