* Parents Call for Closer Collaboration with University Leadership
Parents and students of Bingham University located at Auta Balefi, along the Keffi-Abuja Highway have been gripped with palpable anxiety and fear since rumours of discovery of dead bodies in the citadel of learning broke out this week.
According to inside sources, there have also been unconfirmed rumours of some missing students within the campus of the University which is owned by the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) mission.
The sources said that students woke up in the night of Monday week to the sounds of ambulance sirens which until now, have not been properly explained by the authorities of the University.
The following morning, the campus became awash with the rumours that some unidentified dead bodies were found in one of the uncompleted structures on the campus and were clandestinely evacuated by the authorities in the night.
As a result of the lack of communication by the authorities to either deny or confirm the widespread rumours, students are reaching out to their parents to express their feelings of lack of safety and security.
The sources further confirmed to our correspondent that the only semblance of communication to the students was a statement by the Students Representative Council which only said that the rumour was “not true”.
Most of the students and parents spoken to are of the opinion that the University authorities are hiding something regarding the security situation in the institution. They link this to a recent policy introduced to the effect that parents can only visit their wards three times in a semester.
Another policy introduced by the institution which has also raised suspicions about transparency and accountability of the administration is that banning the use of android phones by students.
One of the parents who spoke on the condition of anonymity said: “I think there is something the school authority is trying to hide, why the sudden decision to make visiting thrice in a semester? Our children are not in a military school and this is a University for crying out loud….I am of the opinion that because we have not started our grievance in clear terms that is why they choose to treat our children in this way…we did not just dump our children in the school.. they are there to study and become independent and useful adults tomorrow. I pray that as they walked into the school with their legs they will also walk out of the school after their studies with their legs in Jesus name”.
According to a lecturer in the university, the ban on the use of android phones by students is a great departure from education aligning with technology to make learning easier. “How can you ban students from using android phones when we encourage them to do research for which the Internet is the greatest resource? We cannot express this openly for fear of being labelled anti-establishment, but the fact is that many of us are against some of these policies which are inimical to to the creation of a safe and secure learning environment “.
With the current security situation in the country, especially around educational institutions, both the students and parents say they expect the University authorities at the highest level to rise up to the occasion and clear the air on their safety and security.
They also appeal for the review of the policies regarding the use of ICT gadgets by students, as well as the restriction on visits by parents.
Most of them also express the need for a closer relationship between the university authorities and parents to put them on the same page as critical stakeholders.