Monday 26 January 2015

MOCPED: ERC Calls for Release of Students' Results and Certificates

Demands Probe of Prof. Olu Akeusola-led MOCPED Administration for Mismanagement of College Funds


Today Monday 26 January 2015, degree students of the Michael Otedola College of Primary (MOCPED) embarked on a peaceful protest. Their demands are for the immediate non-release of their results and certificates by the school administration.

The Education Rights Campaign (ERC) fully supports this protest and demands that the College's administration meets all students' demands.

MOCPED located at Noforija, Epe in Lagos is an affiliate college of EKSU. This means that students are able to seek admission into MOCPED for degree programs that would bear EKSU's certificate. While students pay fees to MOCPED and also receive lectures in MOCPED, there is a cost-sharing and responsibility-sharing arrangement between both institutions which requires that MOCPED regularly pay some amount to EKSU while it must also regularly compile students' results and present same to EKSU Senate for approval.

Unfortunately since the degree program started about eight (8) years ago, MOCPED has not issued statements of results and certificates to any of the students who have completed this program and neither has any proceeded for the National Youth Service.

This is because the authority of MOCPED is heavily indebted to EKSU, and as a result is unable to present students' results to EKSU Senate for approval. This is in spite of the huge amount realized from the high tuition the degree students pay. We must put it on record that a similar degree program of EKSU is affiliated with Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education (AOCOED) and there are no complaints about non-release of results or certificates.

Confirming the above, the management of the Ekiti State University (EKSU) issued a public statement on the 22nd January 2015 in which it distanced itself from the on-going problems in its degree program affiliated with the Michael Otedola College of Primary Education (MOCPED), Noforija, Epe, Lagos. According to the public statement published in The Nation Newspaper (22, January 2015), the management of EKSU "strongly condemns the nonchalant attitude of the Michael Otedola College of Primary Education on the huge indebtedness to EKSU and non-presentation of the students' results to EKSU senate for approval". This indebtedness is alleged to span several years and the EKSU Vice Chancellor had on occasions visited MOCPED "on debt recovery mission and the result issue without positive results". The statement added: "The Management of EKSU would want to make it clear to the whole world that the problems between students and MOCPED authority were caused by the Management of that Institution".

To start with, this is evidence that students agitation has begun to have an impact. For years now, students have been agitating over this issue but both the MOCPED authorities and Lagos State government have generally ignored them. Last year, the Education Rights Campaign (ERC) intervened and sent letters to the authorities of EKSU, MOCPED and the Lagos State government demanding to know why degree students of the college were not getting their statement of results and certificates. Unfortunately we got no response until now.

However this allegation of indebtedness raises pointed questions including whether or not student fees are not being mismanaged or embezzled by the Prof. Olu Akeusola-led administration of MOCPED. The best way to allay this fear is for the College administration to be probed. The ERC hereby calls for an independent probe panel to be constituted and include elected representatives of students union and staff unions of the College to probe the administration of Prof. Olu Akeusola in order to ascertain how the College managed to default on payment to EKSU despite the huge amount degree students pay as tuition.

The Education Rights Campaign (ERC) for the umpteenth time calls on the Prof. Olu Akeusola-led administration of MOCPED to immediately release the final statements of results and certificates of all those who have completed EKSU's degree program affiliated with the College. The situation has now gotten to a stage where further refusal to release the results and certificates could warrant mass protests and demonstrations by the concerned students who have been patient for so long.

The import of EKSU's public statement is that the blame for the non-release of students' result and certificates lies with the Prof. Olu Akeusola-led administration of MOCPED. This administration has been found to be particularly despotic and crude in its dealings with its students. This is aside allegation of financial impropriety and mismanagement of the College's fund by the authorities.

If the authorities of MOCPED believe intimidation will be enough to stop students from demanding what is theirs, then they are in for a rude shock. Instead of abating, this agitation and campaign for the release of results and certificates will be intensified until the MOCPED authorities are prepared to meet the demands.

We condemn the Lagos State government which is the owner of MOCPED for failing to come to the aid of the degree students of MOCPED who have been suffering this ill-treatment from the authorities for years now. We believe that it will amount to gross irresponsibility if officials of the state government continue to feign ignorance of the happenings in MOCPED. We call on the Lagos State government and its relevant departments to intervene on behalf of the degree students of MOCPED who are suffering immensely.

Hassan Taiwo Soweto                                          Michael Ogundele                         
National Coordinator                                         National Secretary                                   

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